independent

Sunday 17 December 2017

Festival's many benefits

With the economic downturn, the guaranteed influx of visitors for the Wexford Festival Opera is a blessing for small business – particularly restaurants, pubs and B&Bs. However, the festival and the colourful characters it attracts to Wexford has many oth

WHILE THE festival itself has a multi-million euro spin off for the local economy, the spend by artists and crew during their nine-week tenure in Wexford can be worth half a million to local business alone.

Business development manager Eamonn Carroll last year carried out an analysis of spend by the festival company.

'We did an analysis of the contribution the cast and crew made to the community in terms of spend over their time here. It was estimated at approximately half a million. That was spread across accommodation, meals, transport, shopping and entertainment,' he said.

This is just a fraction of the euros brought into Wexford through the festival machine. ' The economic impact is really significant. It runs to millions of euro,' said Eamonn, who adds that the festival also carried out research with their audience last year.

Visitors to Wexford stay on average four or five nights during Festival time, with a tremendous loyalty shown by overseas visitors.

' The business they generate for the town is really significant,' he said.

'Wexford festival had a proven track record in delivering overseas visitors to Ireland,' he added, which is part of the reason why Wexford Festival attracts funding annually from Failte Ireland.

' The warm, convivial atmosphere that people find in Wexford is unique. It's not replicated anywhere else,' he said.

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