Australia

Australian windfall from Lions rugby tour

Australian Wallabies flanker George Smith (C) shakes hands with British and Irish Lions centre Manu Tuilagi after the Lions defeated the Wallabies in their third Test, match played in Sydney on July 6, 2013. The Wallabies may have lost the series but Australia did very well financially out of the recent rugby tour by the Lions, a tourism industry body said on Friday.

Australian Wallabies flanker George Smith (C) shakes hands with British and Irish Lions centre Manu Tuilagi after the Lions defeated the Wallabies in their third Test, match played in Sydney on July 6, 2013. The Wallabies may have lost the series but Australia did very well financially out of the recent rugby tour by the Lions, a tourism industry body said on Friday.  (AFP/File)

The Wallabies may have lost the series but Australia did very well financially out of the recent rugby tour by the British and Irish Lions, a tourism industry body said on Friday.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the five-week tour generated an estimated Aus$150 million ($134 million) for the economy.

The bureau's overseas arrivals and departures figures show international arrivals rose by 7.0 percent in June.

Australia's peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) said the month's figures showed the impact of major events on the economy such as the Lions tour.

"The stand out is 64.6 percent growth in visitor numbers from the United Kingdom in June, thanks to the British and Irish Lions tour," TTF chief executive Ken Morrison said.

"An estimated 30-40,000 British and Irish supporters came to Australia for the tour, generating an estimated Aus$150 million for the Australian economy.

"This is a clear demonstration of the value of major events in supporting jobs and businesses in the visitor economy."

The Lions tour generated a total attendance at the nine matches in Australia of 389,400.

The Lions won the series 2-1 after thrashing the Wallabies 41-16 in the final Sydney Test last month for their first series victory in 16 years.

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