The economic impact of major events is well recognised:
- Edinburgh's festivals are worth £261 million to the Scottish economy, creating thousands of jobs and generating spending of more than £40m on accommodation alone
- The Brighton Festival generates over £20m a year to the economy of this small south coast city
- The Notting Hill Carnival in West London brings in £93m over a three day weekend.
- The RBS Six National Championship generates £60 million to the Scottish Economy over 3 weekends each spring.
Festivals and events can;
- Enhance a sense of place and community
- Add value to the visitor experience
- Create new opportunities for visitor spend
- Strengthen regional and national profile
Cultural and sporting events can drive economic regeneration by establishing attractive environments and cultural amenity, thereby attracting visitors and cultural tourists to an area. They can provide employment and generate revenue in both direct and ancillary activities. Long term benefits can include the revival of decaying centres, increased property prices, a more skilled workforce and enhanced GVA. This virtuous circle can result in good places to live, work and visit.
Event-led cultural tourism is becoming big business and building links with tourism authorities, tour operators and the accommodation sector is vital yet often not at the top of an event organisation’s priorities.
FEI’s directors have been at the heart of regeneration projects and event-led destination marketing in the UK for over 20 years, developing practical and sustainable approaches to these issues. Recently we have helped create and develop the County Durham Cultural Partnership and written the cultural strategy for the regeneration of Sittingbourne town centre.