#vor – The organisers of the spectacular Volvo Ocean Race finale and festival in Galway say the event has attracted a "phenomenal number of visitors" to the city and has given it a massive tourism boost and huge international media exposure over the past week.
Official spectator attendance figures for the first seven days of the nine day event show that there were an average of almost 90,000 "visits" per day to the Harbour side "Race Village" and the new "Global Village" international Expo arena in the Claddagh.
Figures released this afternoon by "Let's do it Global", organisers of the event, show there were 625,500 visits to the festival programme of events over the seven days from Saturday 30th June to Friday 6th July.
With the final weekend of the Finale Festival underway, organisers are confident that overall "visits" to the nine day festival will be in excess of 800,000 by the time the Volvo fleet departs.
John Killeen, President of "Let's do it Global", said the interest generated by the Volvo Ocean Race finale and festival was "phenomenal" and exceeded all expectations.
He said "From the moment the six boats competing in the 39,000 mile round the world race arrived to that tumultuous welcome in Galway in the early hours of Tuesday morning we knew that the festival was going
to be an unparalled success".
"Crowds have continued to throng the city throughout the week, the city has never seen crowds like and the economic spin off to the city will be immense.
We believe the economic impact to Galway will exceed €80 million".
Since the early hours of Tuesday morning the skippers and crews of the six boats have been telling the world in a series of TV, radio and newspapers reports that they have never experienced a more spectacular reception than in Galway.
Many of them have been encouraging the city to bid to be part of the next Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-2015.
Kerry born Damian Foxall watch leader on the race winner "Groupama" has said "Galway was made for Volvo and the Volvo Ocean Race was made for Galway".
Today's final In-port Race on Galway Bay – won by the US boat "Puma" after a dramatic battle with old rivals New Zealand's "Camper" and "Groupama" – was watched by millions of TV viewers on broadcasts by 47 networks worldwide.
The figures released for visits to the festival events are as follows:
Saturday 30th June: Overall visits 47,500
Race Village29,000 Global Village 18,500
Sunday 1stJuly: Overall visits 38,200
Race Village 24,400 Global Village 13,800
Monday 2ndJuly: Overall visits 88,000
Race Village 48,700 Global Village 19,300
An additional 20,000 people lined the docks on Monday night to welcome in the boats bringing the numbers for Monday to 88,000 people
Tuesday 3rd July: Overall visits 78,100
Race Village 60,000 Global Village 18,100
Wednesday 4th July: Overall visits 110,700
Race Village 87, 100 Global Village 23,600.
An additional 70,000 people watched the fireworks in seaside locations from Remore to Salthill bringing the overall total for Wednesday 180,700
Thursday 5th July: Overall visits 103,100
Race Village 74, 600 Global Village 28,500
Friday 6th July: Overall visits 89,900
Race Village 69,300 Global Village 20,600