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Swiftonomics: How Taylor Swift’s tours boost the economy

Taylor Swift’s tours usually drive a number of tourists to cities hosting concerts, boosting hotel prices especially.

Taylor Swift has taken the world by storm to become one of the most popular artists in the past few years. Commanding the loyalty of millions of fans, she joined the billion dollar club recently, with a net worth of about $1.1 billion (€1.01 billion) in April 2024.

This wealth has mostly been gathered through her music catalogue, record sales, concert tour ticket sales and streaming deals. Swift is also one of the few artists who has made the most of her wealth through her main occupation as a singer and performer, rather than ancillary businesses such as fashion lines, beauty brands, restaurant chains, property and similar.

As such an iconic artist, Taylor Swift also has a significant economic impact on the cities which host her concerts, especially European ones, which typically get fewer dates and locations than their American counterparts.

This is expected to be the case for the European Eras tour, which started in May and will go on till mid-August, during which Swift will have performed a total of 51 shows in 18 cities.

According to luxury travel agency Embark Beyond, based in New York, Taylor Swift’s Paris leg of the Eras tour in May brought more than five times as many luxury American travellers to the city as the Paris Olympics is expected to do. In many cases, these are people who have already seen the show back in the US, sometimes, multiple times.

This impact is especially evident across the European hospitality sector, with hotels reaping the lion’s share of price hikes. For the duration of Taylor Swift’s European Eras tour, hotel prices across concert cities are expected to surge 44% on average, according to a recent report by Lighthouse.

Some cities such as Liverpool, Warsaw and Stockholm, are expected to see hotel prices jump more than 100% during this time.

Lighthouse CEO Sean Fitzpatrick said: “Taylor Swift isn’t just a music icon; she’s an economic force. Her tours bring entertainment and excitement. Our data shows the remarkable trend where Swift’s presence in UK cities transforms the local hospitality sector, driving significant increases in hotel and short-term rental prices.

“Swifties are known for their creativity and community, but it’s impressive to see their measurable economic impact. It highlights the influence and positive lift these cultural events have on local economies.”

Which cities could see the highest hotel prices?

Warsaw hotels are likely to see the steepest price surges during the European Eras tour, with a rise of 154%, with Stockholm following close behind at 119%. Liverpool comes in at third place, with hotel prices expected to increase 115%.

In Vienna, Taylor Swift’s arrival will boost accommodation prices by 88%, followed by Edinburgh at 84% and Hamburg at 82%.

Lyon will see a comparatively more gentle rise in hotel prices, at 55%, followed by Zurich at 53% and Essen at 50%.

Smaller cities are expected to see larger price increases in hotel prices, as most visitors to these cities during this time are likely to only be drawn by the event and not stay for too long before or after concert dates. As such, hotels are expected to fully capitalise on the concert dates by hiking their prices accordingly.

If you spend a dollar locally, that money will recirculate in the local economy. When you spend money on concert tickets and merchandise, that is money that doesn’t stick in the local economies. It goes home with the artist. 

 Victor Matheson, economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross

On the other hand, hotels in already major tourist cities, such as Paris, London, Madrid, Lisbon and Amsterdam, which regularly see big events, are expected to be much less impacted by the  tour. As such, Paris is expected to see a mere 5% bump to hotel prices, with London also seeing an affordable 9% hike.

Short-term rentals such as Airbnbs are considerably less price-sensitive than hotels. Only Liverpool and Dublin saw short-term rental prices rise more than hotels.

It’s not just hotels though, it’s the whole package. In the UK, according to Barclays, Taylor Swift fans are likely to spend about £848 (€995.76) on items including tickets, accommodation, clothes and travel.

Average spending more than 12 times the cost of a UK night out

Nearly 1.2 million fans are expected to go to the UK concerts, with the average spending being more than 12 times the cost of a typical UK night out, which is around £70. Overall, Swifties are expected to boost the UK economy by some £997 million.

The average accommodation spend is likely to be about £121, with new clothes for the event setting fans back by around £56. Travel is likely to add up to another £111, while meals before the concert could be somewhere around £59. No concert is complete without merchandise, with Swift official merchandise expected to cost around £79 per fan.


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