Rugby: RWC a 'success', but . . .

A new report calling the Rugby World Cup an "overwhelming success'' has revealed fewer than 10 percent of Auckland businesses believe the sporting event had benefited them.

The 'Rugby World Cup 2011; Auckland evaluation' report has just been released and highlights the successes of the city as a host of the tournament.

It also pinpoints lessons learned and recommendations for future events.

It found the tournament was perceived overwhelmingly as a success among several groups surveyed, including Auckland residents, tourists and international media.

Of those surveyed, 92 percent of international visitors, 88 percent of domestic visitors and 88 per cent of international media said they would recommend Auckland as a place to visit.

But while tourists looked favourably on Auckland, local businesses were left feeling ripped off.

Only 8.9 percent believe the RWC had benefited them.

"With 107,000 additional visitors in Auckland over the period, the low reporting of positive effects by business may be a reflection of an uneven spread of benefits,'' said the report.

Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said the economic benefits for the World Cup were always going to be important.

"The report shows a number of Auckland businesses don't believe they have benefited directly from RWC 2011 and it suggests that is because benefits have not been spread evenly.

"We need to understand better - the learning's here for next time.''

The report did not include the full economic impacts and other financial data that is expected to be released early next year.

- Elizabeth Binning

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