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Economic boost for France from Euro soccer

dpa logodpa 10/01/2017

A study has found that the the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, held in France, had an economic impact of $1.75 billion.

The Euro 2016 soccer tournament hosted by France had an economic impact of 1.22 billion euros ($A1.75 billion), a study released on Tuesday said.

The impact from tourism added more than 625 million euros to the country's economy, the study commissioned by the Sports Ministry and published by the Centre for Sports Law and Economics said.

Some 613,000 foreign visitors travelled to France to watch the matches in stadiums and special outdoor fan zones set up at 10 host sites.

Brits were the most represented visitors, with 13.4 per cent of foreign spectators crossing the Channel to watch the tournament. Tourists from Germany represented 12.7 per cent and Switzerland 5.8 per cent of visitors.

The study said that tourists stayed an average of 7.9 days and spent 154 euros per day.

The boost to the economy came in the midst of flagging tourism figures in the wake of a string of terrorist attacks that prompted exceptional security measures during the matches.

Some 75 million euros in tax income was generated for the state, the study said. Approximately 77,000 French state forces and 13,000 private security officers were deployed during the tournament, which was won by Portugal.

French Sports Minister Patrick Kanner welcomed the figures in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, saying that sporting events created incalculable benefits and boosted the country's "soft power."

With Paris competing to host the Olympics in 2024, Kanner also said that investments made in French stadiums could help host the games.

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