Summit will have huge impact on South Wales, according to report

Simon GIbson

Simon GIbson

First published in Business News by

Over the two days of the Nato Summit later this week, the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport will host 61 world leaders, 70 foreign and defence ministers and defence chiefs, approximately 4,000 delegates and 1,500

of the world’s media.

The Barclays report into the summit and it’s impact on Wales said the potential benefits for Newport, Cardiff, Wales and the UK as a whole are substantial and it added that although stakeholders were wary of putting exact figures on the potential economic benefits, the previous NATO Summit, held in Chicago in 2012, generated some $128.2m (£77m) for that economy, according to a study by Deloitte.

It said: “If the 2014 event does even close to half that amount, the net impact on the Welsh economy would still be considerable.”

The report, based on a survey of business people across Wales, said that the media interest and coverage of the event will be on a scale never seen before in Wales.

Simon Gibson, director of the Celtic Manor and chief executive of

Wesley Clover, a private equity fund with substantial business interests in Wales, says that hosting the NATO Summit is of greater importance and has more potential benefits for Wales than hosting the Ryder Cup.

He said: “There are clearly many ways this event will translate into tangible benefits for Wales. Every hotel between Swansea and Swindon will be fully booked. Consider the number of nights that people will be staying in the region; they will all need beds and food and drink.”

But he believes that more important than this will be the immense profile it will give the nation.

He notes that many people in other countries remain unsure as to where Wales is. The country does not have the same global brand presence that Ireland and Scotland do, for example.

The report said: “This global exposure has the potential to position Wales as a destination to visit, to study and to do business.”

It said: “While the direct financial value of the summit is difficult to quantify, it is estimated that more than 5,500 people will attend. The majority of these will stay at hotels in South Wales. In addition to this, more than 9,000 police officers will come into the area from across England and Wales, who will also stay and eat locally.

“Hotels across South Wales, including Newport and Cardiff, will play hosts to the delegations and media. In Newport alone, five hotels that have been booked for media and staff attending the summit are expected to reap £400,000 over the period from room bookings. Taxi firms, bars and restaurants will also benefit.

“The Summit organisers alone have reserved more than 24,000 room nights in 80 hotels in Newport, Cardiff and

Bristol. This is roughly half the 49,300 hotel nights that it is estimated were booked in Chicago during the last NATO Summit in 2012.

“It is evident that the Summit will deliver a boost to the local economy, which will be bolstered by indirect spin-offs such as inward investment. Perception by foreign tourists of Wales as a holiday destination will undoubtedly

increase as a result of the overseas promotional work being undertaken by the Wales Tourist Board and Visit

Wales.

“National security issues will be a key part of the Summit discussions. Wales is well placed to play a long-term role in defence and security, having such big name companies as Airbus, BAE, GE, Raytheon and Saab Military based in the principality. Its defence industry supports more than 6,500 jobs directly in Wales, with many more in the supply chain. The industry is also worth £5bn in sales to the Welsh economy.

attended the Ryder Cup.

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