The significance of festivals to regional economies: measuring the economic value of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa
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This paper estimates the economic value of South Africa's longest running national arts festival, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in the Eastern Cape Province. The Eastern Cape is a middle-income province (6.6% of national GDP), settles 9.6% of the South African population and has a high unemployment rate. A survey was conducted in July 2009, with 450 visitors completing a structured questionnaire at various sampling locations across the festival area. A social accounting matrix (SAM) for the province was used to estimate the economic value of the arts festival to the region's economy (adopting the classical SAMs multiplier approach) with visitor depending data. This research shows that the festival makes a significant contribution to revenue generation as well as to job creation, thereby confirming that investments made by government in arts and culture can address economic objectives.