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Events’ impact on cities: Adelaide Festival Centre achieves $160.2 million in economic and social contribution

Adelaide Festival Centre's economic contribution resulted in the direct and indirect creation of 1,076 jobs in Greater Adelaide.

An Ernst and Young report found that the Adelaide Festival CentreTrust made a $107.8 million economic contribution to the Greater Adelaide economy in 2015-2016. This represents a return of over $8 on every dollar the government invests in operating and activity funding.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s economic contribution resulted in the direct and indirect creation of 1,076 jobs in Greater Adelaide.

The Ernst and Young report also highlighted Adelaide Festival Centre’s “significant social contribution [which] encourages greater social cohesion in the community.”  This social contribution was valued at $52.4 million bringing the total estimated economic contribution to $160.2 million.

In 2015-2016 over one million attendees  came to see a wide range of arts and cultural programming at Adelaide Festival Centre, including large scale and long running musicals such as Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and Cats, as well as theatrical, ballet, music, and operatic productions by our resident companies and the Festival Centre’s own festivals, programs, exhibitions, and free events.

Adelaide Festival Centre is Australia’s first capital city arts centre and continues to lead the way in arts and cultural engagement. Adelaide Festival Centre’s Asian engagement strategy is at the forefront of Australia-Asia arts relationships.

Jack Snelling, Minister for the Arts: “This report confirms once again the arts’ fantastic economic return on investment.  As well as bringing vibrancy and entertainment to our community, the arts are responsible for creating employment and economic growth. Adelaide Festival Centre’s success is a testament to the power of the arts and arts centres.”

Douglas Gautier, Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO and Artistic Director: “Successful cultural organisations engage and support our multi-cultural community, advance a city’s creative energy and reputation, and they have a substantial impact on the economy. The Ernst and Young report confirms Adelaide Festival Centre’s economic and social value and drives home the importance of supporting and nurturing the arts industry in South Australia.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the South Australian Government, our partner organisations in South Australia, across Australia and around the world, and our sponsors.

“It is pleasing that the Festival Centre is in a position of strength financially and creatively as we enter a challenging period of construction with the redevelopment of Adelaide Riverbank, Adelaide Festival Centre, and Her Majesty’s Theatre over the next three years.

“We are confident that the benefits to the community from the activities of Adelaide Festival Centre will only continue to grow as we enter a period of positive change for the arts in South Australia. Once complete our refurbished venues will provide great platforms for South Australian, national and international artists to develop and present their work. The redevelopments will bring jobs and further economic impact to Adelaide while ensuring that South Australian audiences don’t miss out on the best the world has to offer.

“We appreciate the continued support of our patrons, partners and the Government during the period of construction to ensure the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust is in a position to fully maximise the benefits for our community when our new infrastructure is open.”

Ernst and Young report findings:

  • $107.8 million economic contribution
  • $52.4 million social contribution
  • More than 1,000 jobs created in Greater Adelaide
  • 1,066,935 total attendances – highest ever
  • 505,072 ticketed attendances
  • 777 performances across all venues
  • 25 visual art exhibitions
  • 4,347 media stories and $32 million in publicity generated for shows and for South Australia
  • 7 years in the black
  • $25.6 million in raised commercially revenue
  • 70% of income commercially generated
  • Students and teachers from 324 schools participated in CentrED programs
  • 25,000 students came to performances
Professor of Tourism and Director of the Centre for Tourism & Leisure Management - University of South Australia | + Articles

Dr. Mariana Sigala is Professor in Tourism and Director of the Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM) at the University of South Australia Business School.

Professor Sigala has a PhD from the University of Surrey as well as a Certificate of Advanced Academic Studies from the University of Strathclyde and an MSc in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey.

Professor Sigala is a widely published authority in the area of Service Operations Management and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications in Tourism and Hospitality. She also has an interest in e-learning models and pedagogies, having published several research studies in these areas. Professor Sigala’s research is multi-award winning featuring several best paper awards in international conferences and academic journals, such as papers published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and the International Journal of Hospitality Management.

Professor Sigala is the current Chair of the ICHRIE Johnson and Wales Case Study Competition and Publication Series . She is also currently the co-editor of the international journal Journal of Service Theory and Practice, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the editor of the International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Cases.

Professor Sigala has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Information Technology, Tourism and Travel (IFITT) (as Membership Director); the International Council on Hospitality, Restaurant and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE) (as Research Director, 2008 - 2010); the Hellenic Association of Information Systems (HeAIS) (as Publicity Director); and the Executive Board of the European Council on Hospitality, Restaurant and Institutional Education (EuroCHRIE) (as President, 2004 - 2005).

Professor Sigala joined the UniSA Business School in 2015 and brings more than 13 years of international academic and teaching experience to the UniSA Business School and the School of Management.