Hay Festival visitors boost area by £70m in three years

News - Festivals Wednesday, 12 September 2018

New statistics from QRS Research shine a light on the direct economic value the festival brings


Research unveiled this week by independent data collection provider QRS Research shows Hay Festival's local economic impact totalled more than £70m in the past three years, generating £25.8m for the area in 2018 alone, up 26% on 2016.

Analysing visitor spend within a 30-minute drive from the festival site, the new statistics highlight the impact of the tourism the festival brings to Hay. Published in the festival's annual report, the survey shows a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 77% for the festival. Attendees also gave an average satisfaction score of 8.6/10.

Other report highlights include an increase in tickets sold to 273,000 (up 18,000 on 2017), while 41% of festival attendees stayed in local accommodation for an average of four nights, with attendees from over 40 countries, from Afghanistan to Venezuela.

Maggie Kerr, development director of Hay Festival, said: "Every year during festival week Hay throws its doors open to the world. The festival, Hay's bookshops, shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants, campsites, hotels and community all give a welcome like no other place. Our research shows how valuable these visitors are to the town's economy and how important the warm welcome they receive is to their experience. We'll continue to work closely with our neighbours and friends to ensure that keeps moving forwards, but overall it's good news for the town."

Andrew Williams, chair of Hay-on-Wye Chamber of Commerce, said: "The festival is always a huge highlight of the business year here in Hay. As a Chamber of Commerce we know that our members are thrilled to see the impact on the local economy of the festival visitors. We work closely with Hay Festival to encourage more people to visit our wonderful town and look forward to welcoming them. Roll on 2019."

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: "Hay Festival enriches the minds of those attending every year with thought-provoking talks and events; this research goes to show how the local economy also benefits from the Festival – and is testimony to the warm welcome that visitors receive in Hay every year. The Festival has long been one of Wales' iconic events and long may the success continue."

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