Today, the New Zealand International Arts Festival released the findings of BERL’s Economic Survey measuring the contribution to the Wellington City economy and Nielsen’s Audience Survey.
The 2012 Festival resulted in total expenditure in Wellington City of $56 million. That is a $17 million increase over the $39 million generated by the 2010 Festival. For the Wellington region, the Festival generated $50 million in total expenditure.
The $56 million represents expenditure from an estimated 102,000 unique visitors attending the Festival. Of these, 51,000 were from Wellington City, and, although they enjoyed the Festival were not included in the economic analysis. The Festival attracted 19,000 visitors from the Wellington region and 32,000 visitors from the rest of New Zealand and overseas.
This $56 million in expenditure was spent across a range of industries including hotels, restaurants and retail and resulted in $28 million in GDP and employment of 362 Full Time Equivalents for one year, in Wellington City.
Nielsen Research showed that 92% of people who attended the 2012 Festival rated it positively – the most positively rated Festival since the 2006 Festival. The Festival was commended for the range and quality of events and the ticket pricing which made the Festival more accessible.
Research indicated 54% of visitors who came to Wellington for the Festival are more likely to return to Wellington again in the future.
“These surveys show that the New Zealand International Arts Festival is embraced and celebrated by the public and confirm its economic and cultural importance both to Wellington and New Zealand.” commented the Festival Executive Chair, Kerry Prendergast.
“The economic impact is good news for Wellington City as every dollar invested generates $29 in expenditure, which is a healthy return on its investment,” she stated.
“The Festival continues to stay at the forefront of the arts in New Zealand and through prudent management it remains financially stable in changing economic times. The overall cost of the Festival is $12.7 million and indicative results show that the Festival will break even by 30 June year end which is a pleasing result,” she commented.
Overall, the 2012 Festival, Lissa Twomey’s third and final Festival as Artistic Director, received enthusiastic audience response and critical acclaim. It delivered 300 performances with 900 artists from 31 countries. Over 110,000 tickets were issued and over 165,000 people attended free events.
“The Festival provides a loudspeaker for the world’s big thinkers and ground-breaking artists. Under the new Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza, the Festival will continue to play a key role in making Wellington an international capital of creativity, innovation and ideas,” summarised Kerry Prendergast.