Keywords: cultural events, film festivals, economic impacts, spatial impact, business survey, events tourism, Greece
The spatial-economic impact of cultural events
Cultural events such as festivals are emerging worldwide as a dynamic sector of the tourism and leisure industries with significant economic, social, cultural and political impacts on the destination area. Their economic importance stems from the expenditure of the attendants that filters through the local economy of the host community. This paper seeks to explore the degree to which economic benefits generated by film festivals are spread out evenly around the festival venues within the host community. The paper uses a business survey technique to assess the direct economic impact of a film festival on the local leisure business sector. The 2008 Thessaloniki International Film Festival is used as a case study in order to provide empirical evidence for an uneven economic impact over space. The paper makes use of primary data to determine the spatial extent of the festival's economic benefits within the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area.