Being able to anticipate the effects of events, policy changes or economic decisions is of great value to governments and businesses alike. Decisions can be made well in advance of events occurring if reliable and accurate data about the effects of a particular change are available. Economic modelling from Bournemouth University has enabled businesses and governments across the UK to look ahead to the expected results of events and policy changes, thus enabling them to plot a course of action based on reliable evidence.

The impact has been felt nationally and overseas. Within the UK, BU’s modelling was used to estimate the economic effect of the Olympics, both in London and across the country. The model demonstrated that the benefits and economic gains from post-Olympic tourism would mostly be felt in London, partly to the detriment of other areas in the UK. These findings changed the direction of policy and led to the promotion of destination image building during the Games in order to spread the benefits of tourism across the country.

As well as modelling the effects of the Olympics on British tourism, researchers at BU have worked with the Scottish Government to estimate the value of wildlife tourism in Scotland. The modelling showed that wildlife tourism contributed £65 million to Scottish gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, and over 2,700 jobs. The research showed that wildlife tourism makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy, which prompted VisitScotland to name 2013 the ‘Year of Natural Scotland’ in order to capitalise on its appeal as a tourist destination.

Further afield, the Government of Gibraltar uses the economic models created by Bournemouth University to understand, manage and plan for the impacts of a variety of events that affect their economy. This includes the impacts of the closure of HMS Dockyard, the development of Gibraltar Ship Repair, the opening of the frontier with Spain and Gibraltar’s positive contribution to the economic well-being of the Campo de Gibraltar. BU’s economic modelling has enabled Gibraltar’s Government to make policy decisions based on sound evidence, and carefully plan out an appropriate approach.

The value of economic modelling to both governments and businesses cannot be underestimated. By being able to provide reliable data about the anticipated effects of future events, businesses and governments alike are able to plan and make changes to their activities well in advance. The research carried out by BU has allowed for accurate predictions about the consequences of events, policy changes and other economic decisions, which has had an impact on a national and even international scale.