City, News

Head of the Charles Regatta expected to generate $88 million in visitor spending

The Boston University rowing team competes in the 2016 Head of the Charles Regatta. The annual event returns this weekend to the Charles River. MIKE DESOCIO/ DFP FILE

The Head of the Charles Regatta, an annual rowing race that takes place on the Charles River, is expected to generate over $88 million in visitor spending for the Greater Boston area and draw over 225,000 spectators as the race begins this weekend.

The statistics were released by the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and consulting firm McKinsey and Company. Approximately 11,000 athletes from around the world will participate in the event, held annually on the second-to-last weekend in October.

David O’Donnell, spokesperson for the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said just over half of the regatta’s spectators are expected to be visitors from outside of Boston.

“An estimate of over 200,000 spectators will come on site at the Charles River this weekend to watch the competitions, 55 percent of this population being the visitors who are traveling from other states to Boston for such a massive race,” O’Donnell said. “…We identify about 120,000 thousands of visitors.”

O’Donnell said the regatta’s 11,000 participants and their supporters will make up a large portion of these visitors.

“Anyone that’s coming from abroad are really outside,” O’Donnell said. “Yeah, so [teams, athletes, coaches] and their supporters and the schools they come with make up a large portion of those, those people.”

O’Donnell said the visitor revenue is expected to come from multiple sources and that visitors will spend money on everything from lodging and food to leisure.

“The amount of $88 million is mostly generated from the athletes, coaches, schools, spectators and visitors who spend on hotels, transportation, restaurants, retail, and just other activities they do in the city,” O’Donnell said.

Fred Schoch, executive director of the Head of the Charles, wrote in an email that local businesses that cater to tourists will benefit from more people in the area.

“Restaurants and hotels will be largely impacted by visitors eating meals as they are visiting and staying in hotels because they’re coming from a distance,” Schoch said.

O’Donnell said he expects visitors and athletes will be greeted by clear skies and perfect weather this weekend, which will make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

“I think it [the weather] looks great right now,” O’Donnell said. “It won’t affect the game at all and I think it’s going to be beautiful.”

Schoch wrote that forecasts predict the weather to be “very nice, perfect conditions, little wind and high 60s.”

Brian Kemmett, 56, of Somerville, said he thinks the regatta will cause a traffic jam during the weekend.

“I think it will affect me,” Kemmett said. “My wife works over here so coming back, the traffic is very heavy.”

Aaron Wright, 32, of Cambridge, said he does not know much about the Regatta, but that he thinks it sounds interesting.

“I have no clue about the Head of the Charles River Regatta,” Wright said, “but I think it should be worth watching.”

Mary Brown, 38, of Brookline, said the regatta is an effective way to attract more tourists and raise local business.

“I think having such a regatta is a good thing for the city,” she said. “It is for sure helping the city to boost its tourism industry.”

More Articles

Comments are closed.