Economic impacts of cultural event in Slovakia

Anna Michálková

Faculty of Commerce, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia

Silvia Gorásová

Faculty of Commerce, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia

Sonia Krajčík Danišová

Faculty of Commerce, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia


The aim of the paper is to quantify the impact of cultural event in Bratislava through its economic benefits based on measurable selected indicators. The study is based on analyses of the collected primary and secondary data. Object of research is the Coronation Celebration 2016 in Bratislava. We focused on services which respondents pay for during the event. Taking into account the multiplier effect we quantify not only the direct but also the total economic contribution of the event by solving a number of methodological problems. In the calculations, we used the multiplier of production in cultural services, calculated on the basis of Leontief's input-output model. We calculated the total attendance expenses of the visitors of the event in the amount of EUR 1,721,720, including the multiplier effect the event generated a production in the amount of EUR 3,347,023.
Key Words: Economic impact, Event, Expenditures, Regional development

The aim of the submitted paper is to evaluate economic contribution of the Coronation Celebration event in Bratislava, which is one of the largest cultural events in Slovakia. We focus not only on the direct economic benefits but also on the secondary benefits by incorporating the multiplier effect of this event.
The Coronation Celebration has been organized by the civic association Coronation Bratislava since 2003 (co-organizer is the Bratislava Tourism Board). The event takes place in June in the centre of the capital of Slovakia, in Bratislava. The main program is always based on the current anniversary of the coronation of Maria Theresa. The event is an experience-based way of explaining the coronation of kings and queens, creating a unique atmosphere in the city. Visitors are presented with authentic period costumes, craftsmen present their skills at the fair. Atmosphere is complemented by authentic music from the time of coronation of Maria Theresa, period instruments, and also the areas in which the coronation took place. The program also includes a presentation of battles for the Austrian heritage, dubbing of knights, and folk festivities. Strengths of the event also include the accompanying activities that create space for entertainment of families with young children. According to the organizer, a weakness is the exposure of the event due to the weather; its extreme manifestations have a significant impact on the attendance. Since there is no "wet variant" of this event, the impact of weather on its execution is significant.
The target group of the event are mainly families with children, but the organizers are trying to make the event as accessible as possible for the widest public. The event attracts not only the residents of Bratislava, but also visitors from abroad who appreciate the uniqueness and the historical accuracy of the coronation celebration festival. Promotional materials for foreign visitors are available in three language versions - English, German, and Hungarian, which, in addition to the event's program, explain the history of coronation in Bratislava to visitors. In regard to commentary or translation of the event, the organizers do not directly provide these services to foreign visitors; the visitors use the services of guides through historical Bratislava. The Coronation Celebration is regularly promoted at international tourism fairs abroad. When promoting the event, the organizers bet on a combination of two factors. The first is the historical accuracy of the coronation process. The second factor is exploiting the relative obscurity of Bratislava and its historical centre, which attracts visitors to combine the visit of Bratislava together with the visit of the event.
The partners of the event are Bratislava Region Tourism - regional destination management organization and Bratislava – Old City. In terms of finances the cooperation reaches financial limits of participating organizations. According to the organizer, total expenditures directly related to the event amount to approximately EUR 57,000 (PR and advertising, coronation ceremony, coronation procession, accompanying activities, technical equipment). Most of the funds are related to the coronation ceremony itself along with the coronation procession, these expenditures alone amount to approximately EUR 34,000. The capital city has provided funds in the amount of EUR 30,000 in the past two years. The civic association Coronation Bratislava had to finance the rest with its co-organizers and partners, who provided more than EUR 20,000. Total revenue of the organizer is equal to total expenditures for the event.

The impacts of the event on a particular territory are very diverse. In principle, domestic and foreign literature distinguishes, and the practical application of theoretical approaches accepts the classification of impacts into economic, social and cultural, and environmental impacts. The object of the submitted study is a cultural event held in an urban environment and therefore, due to the aim of the study, this section mainly focuses on economic or socio-economic impacts.
In the economic or socio-economic area in general, the events are attributed with the ability to contribute mainly to revenue generation in the territory, permanent or temporary (or seasonal) employment of domestic population in tourism, improvement of civic amenities in the territory, and enhancement of the living standards of the population. According to Allen et al. (2006), in terms of economic benefits of an event, the primarily monitored attributes are the financial aspects related to the justification of costs by the entities funding or co-funding the event. Bowen et al. (2003) highlights local and state tax revenue and employment growth in tourism businesses. Similarly, Custino and Perna (2008) talk about the increase of number of visitors at the destination, creation of job opportunities, and higher tax revenue. They also highlight the fact that events help to place the destination on the market and create a destination profile and its positive image, allow increasing the economic revenues of the destination, extending the traditional season, and attract both domestic and foreign visitors.
Prosser (2001) considers tourism activities to be of great benefit to regional economies by generating demand for local goods and services. Similarly Cooper et al. (1998) mentions the opportunity to support the local economy if visitors' spending is maintained in its cycle. Hall (2008) completes the economic dimensions of organizing an event, as shown in the following table. 1.

Table 1    Economic dimensions of an event

Economic environment



increased expenditures

increased prices of goods and services

creating jobs

replacement of local labour force with foreign one

increased job offers

higher seasonal unemployment

increased real estate value

real estate speculation

increased standard of living

increased gap between the rich and the poor

greater investment in infrastructure and services

the cost of investment opportunities in tourism (i.e. other services and sectors don't receive support)

free trade growth

free trade growth

growth in foreign investment

loss of domestic ownership

diversification of the economy

excessive dependence of employment and economic development on tourism

Industry and businesses



increased awareness of the destination

acquiring a bad reputation as a result of inadequate practices and inflated prices

increased investor awareness of potential for investment and business activities in the destination

negative reactions of companies in the competition for human resources and state support

development of new infrastructure and facilities including accommodation and attractions

use of inappropriate destination brand and image

increased destination accessibility


improved image of the destination


Source: Hall, 2008.

These impacts can be immediate, such as increased overnight stays of visitors, use of catering services, local price increases at the time of the event; or long-term, when the event results in long-term investments such as transport related construction, increase in total accommodation capacity, expansion of tourism services, and so on. Chalip (2004) points out that the immediate economic impact of an event depends on the amount of visitor expenditures related to the attendance of the event. The course of the event should therefore encourage visitor spending and maintain visitor spending within the destination economy. Offerings of the destination must incite tourists to remain in the destination even after the conclusion of the event, or for multiple days.
When organizing a cultural event, socio-cultural influences also come to the forefront. Delamere (1999) classifies social impacts into positive ones - improvement of region's image, a sense of prosperity, pride in the event or region, enhancement of the quality of life, increased attractiveness of the region, and negative ones - disruption of privacy, overcrowding, increased noise, increased traffic, increased prices. Gursoy et al. (2006) outlines additional positive effects of organizing events, including the reinforcement of regional traditions and values, which can lead to a better understanding of other customs. Custido and Pernej (2008) draw attention to the negative impacts associated with the loss of authenticity, opportunity cost, "inflated" prices, and resistance of the community. Getz (2003) highlights the added value for the community in terms of the sense of pride of the people that may be associated with the organization of important events, as well as the improvement of leisure time options for the residents of the destination. In general, it's clear that an event is designed to raise awareness and it represents a challenge to make specific activities more visible in a particular destination for a shorter or longer period (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009).
Many studies have been done in regard to quantifying the economic effects of organizing events, such as Herrero et al. (2006), Seaman (2003), Rogers (2008), which aimed to assess the economic significance of events and to analyse the activities and financial flows associated with such events. The authors highlight a number of difficulties in identifying the economic effects of events, in particular selecting a sample of respondents as a base to estimate the total expenditures of the attendees of the event. As with any other primary research, it's necessary to ensure a representative selection of respondents, but it remains an important question whether or not local population should be included in the research. Another problem is the possibility of separating different types of expenditures, such as expenditure on catering, transport, purchase of goods and their localization inside or outside of the territory under consideration.
The economic benefits of an event manifest as direct, but also secondary benefits, i.e. indirect and induced ones. Direct impacts of an event are the benefits of tourism that have been induced as a direct consequence of tourism expenditures of visitors. However, the consumption of the event's visitors has not only this direct impact associated with the visitors' expenditures before, during, and after the event. A multiplier effect is attributed to this consumption as well. All expenditures that cause a chain reaction of increased spending in downstream economic activities have multiplier effect. Indirect impact on the economy is represented by the purchases of goods and services in the region and the country made by tourism service providers in order to secure their production. Induced economic impacts are represented by an increase in consumption caused by wage increases in the sector (Pachingerová et al., 2013). The starting point for quantifying the overall economic benefits of development of tourism, i.e. direct, indirect and induced benefits at the national level is the definition of multipliers, which will enable their calculation. Indirect effects are related to production of supply sectors. They capture intermediate consumption for the production of goods and services in the tourism sector. Induced effects include the consumption of businesses that directly or indirectly benefited from the initial spending in the tourism sector (Vellas, 2011).

The organizer of the event and the destination management organization in Bratislava do not specifically focus on the evaluation of the event in terms of its economic significance. The evaluation of individual years of the event from an economic point of view is based only on their economic return. Therefore, the starting point of our research was primarily the selection of relevant indicators to assess the economic significance of this event. We have defined three basic indicators, namely the aggregate expenditures of the attendees of the event, the revenues from the admission, the total production generated by the consumption of the event's attendees. We used a number of sub-indicators, including the average daily visitor spending (in total and also according to the geographical segments and the length of stay in the destination), the average daily visitor spending directly at the event, before and after the event, and we designed various indicator ratios, mainly related to the cost of organizing the event, the income tax revenue for accommodation in connection with attendance of the event, the expenditures of the city of Bratislava in support of tourism, and we put the income indicators obtained from the event in proportion to the size of the location where the event was carried out expressed by the number of residents.
To fulfil the objective of the paper, we conducted a primary research aimed at identifying the expenditures of the visitors of the event realized in connection with the event's attendance.  The inquiry took place directly on the venue of the event in the form of a structured questionnaire, and we received valid data from 147 respondents. In order to get the most accurate result, we tracked the visitor structure according to whether it was a visitor with overnight stay (tourist) or an excursionist. In addition, a significant segmentation criterion is also the geographical origin of the visitor - we studied four different segments - a resident of Bratislava, Western, Central or Eastern Slovakia, a foreign visitor. The expenditures of these segments were monitored according to the structure of individual paid services consumed - accommodation services, catering services, transport services, purchase of souvenirs and other goods.
The researched event is an open event, held in open spaces mostly by the city centre. From this point of view, the necessary starting point for further calculations - the number of attendees of the event - was determined by an interview with the organizer and co-organizer of the event. The event's organizer estimated 37,000 visitors, the co-organizer estimated 50,000 visitors. Therefore, we used the mean value between these estimates in calculations. Admission is collected only for the coronation ceremony and it's EUR 25 for an adult. The capacity of the temple, where the coronation takes place, is 300 people.
The objective of the paper is also to incorporate the multiplier effect, which the attendees' expenditures have in the given area, and the calculation of the relevant indicators of the event's contribution. For the sake of simplification, the presented paper works with multipliers calculated on the basis of Leontief's input-output model based on symmetric input-output table by Fodranová, Kubičková and Michálková (2015). We use the basic premise of this model that the sum of intermediate consumption and final demand is the total production (Hara, 2008). Applying this model to the tourism environment makes it possible to quantify the changes induced by the final consumption of the tourists in the total volume of production. This is a model used by the majority of authors of studies measuring economic benefits of tourism in a territory (Khan et al, 1990; Adams, 1992; Chang, 2001; Mules, 2005; Boďa, 2006; Chang at al., 2010; Bakos, 2011; Stynes, 2002; Kubičková et al., 2014 and many others).
4 Results and discussion
Primary research provided the initial findings for meeting the objective of the paper related to the structure of attendees of the event and their consumer behaviour. According to the survey of the event's visitors, the inhabitants of the Bratislava Region (81% of the visitors) are clearly predominant, and they are mostly families with children (37%), another large group are visitors who come with friends (25%). Representation of other regions and representation of visitors from abroad is roughly the same. Approximately half of the visitors will spend 1 day in Bratislava without overnight stay in connection with the visit of the event. Approximately 16% of visitors will stay for 1 night, the same percentage will stay for 2 nights, and only a minimum of visitors will spend 3 nights in Bratislava.
Attendance of the event is the target activity for the respondents, but it's not the only activity included in their stay. 65% of visitors of the event also take advantage of other attractions of the capital or nearby surroundings, especially the visit of Devin, Červený Kameň (Častá), Pezinok, but also Hainburg an der Donau (Austrian Niederösterreich) or the Schlosshof castle.
The average expenditures of the event's visitors were examined according to geographic segments. The results are broken down by the services that the visitors paid for during their stay. The values are shown in the following Table 2.
The largest amount of money was spent by residents from abroad, an average of EUR 168.10 per person and visitors from Eastern Slovakia with an average per person of EUR 128.67. Third largest expenditures were made by respondents from Central Slovakia, on average EUR 87.79 per person. Visitors from Western Slovakia spent an average of EUR 51.51. Respondents from Bratislava spent an average of EUR 10.4 per person; respondents from the Bratislava Self-governing Region (outside of Bratislava) spent EUR 19.86 per person.

Table 2 Average expenditures of event visitors according to geographic segments broken down by expenditure items, in Euro






and other items





visitor from BA







visitor from BSR (without BA)







from WS













from CS













from ES













from abroad





























Note: BA – Bratislava, BSR – Bratislava Self-governing Region, WS – Western Slovakia, ES - Eastern Slovakia, CS - Central Slovakia
Source: own processing

We also analysed the respondents' expenditures according to the length of their stay in the region. Respondents were divided according to the length of their stay into excursionists, whose stay did not exceed 24 hours and tourists, whose stay in the region lasted for at least one overnight stay. On average, one excursionist has spent EUR 12.4 worth of expenditures. The average expenditure per one tourist is EUR 138.7 per day. The largest spending item of excursionists was catering, while the least amount of money was spent on souvenirs and other items, an average of EUR 3.7 per respondent. Tourists spent the largest amount of money on accommodation services, on average EUR 53 per one tourist per day. On the other hand, they spent the least amount of money on souvenirs and other items. The data found is listed in the following Table 2.

Table 3 Average visitor expenditures by length of stay, in Euro





and other items




Average per













Average per













Source: own processing

Total average expenditure per one visitor is EUR 40.04 per day. The total average expenditure per visitor during the event is EUR 13.55 per day. The average expenditure a respondent spent outside the event was EUR 26.49 per day per person. Based on the calculated mean value between the number of visitors for all three days of the event estimated by the organizer and the co-organizer we will work with the number of 43,000 visitors. After calculating the averaged expenditure amounts for all visitors of the event, the total expenditures of the participants during the event are EUR 582,650, and the total expenditures that the visitors spent in the region before and after the event are EUR 1,139,070. Total expenditures of the event's visitors in connection with attendance of the event represent EUR 1,721,720.
Calculated values can be used to calculate other interesting indicators. One is the ratio of total expenditures of the visitors related to the event and the expenditures directly at the event. The calculated value of EUR 2.96 denotes that every 1 Euro spent as the visitor's expenditure directly during the event is able to generate a total of almost 3 Euro within the surveyed area as a total of expenditures related to attendance of the event, for every 1 Euro of expenditure spent directly during the event, EUR 1.95 is spent before or after the event. This multiplier effect of the economic base clearly indicates the economic contribution of the event, which cannot be measured only directly by the expenditures of the event's visitors, but the contribution from its organization is greater thanks to expenditures indirectly related to the attendance of the event (outside of the event itself).
The total revenue from the event can also be quantified by means of the organizer's revenue indicator, which consists of collected admission for the crowning ceremony of EUR 7,500. The obtained data can be used to calculate other related indicators. One is the amount of expenditure by visitors related to the event's attendance attributable to 1 EUR of costs of the organizer for organizing the event. Total costs of the organizer (as mentioned above) are EUR 57,000 total expenditures of the visitors have been calculated in the amount of EUR 1,721,720. It results from the above data that each Euro invested by the organizer of the event induced visitor expenditures in the amount of 30.2 Euro. This indicator is suitable for assessing the economic significance of organizing the event for the location, or region. If we calculate how many Euros of expenditures directly at the event were generated by 1 Euro of costs of organizing the event, in this case it's EUR 2.24 and it's an indicator that tells us the contribution of the event directly to the providers of paid services at the event.
Another sub-indicator, which is the income from the event for the city, can be calculated through the accommodation tax, with the tax rate in Bratislava amounting to EUR 1.70. With 9,653 accommodated guests from the total number of visitors (22.45% of the respondents used accommodation services - result of the field survey), the city receives a local accommodation tax of EUR 16,410, which covers more than 50% of the subsidy granted by Bratislava for organizing the Coronation Celebration event. In relation to the city of Bratislava, another indicator can be constructed as the ratio of the accommodation tax income in connection with the attendance of the event and the costs of the city aimed directly at supporting tourism in the given year in the amount of EUR 750,000 (Magistrate office of the capital of the Slovak Republic of Bratislava, 2015). The value of this indicator is EUR 0.022. Of course, this is only a sub-indicator that reflects only part of the benefit of organizing the event.
An interesting indicator is the total expenditure by visitors made during the event calculated per 1 inhabitant of the city of Bratislava. It's an indicator that would be particularly useful in comparison with other events. For the Coronation Celebration, the value of this indicator is EUR 1.37 per 1 resident (Note: The average number of permanently living population in the city of Bratislava for 2016 was 424,259 persons, Statistical Office of SR, 2017).
In order to determine the overall economic benefits, we also need to incorporate the multiplier effect of consumption made in connection with the event's attendance. We therefore also take into account the secondary benefits across the supply chain and the induced benefits as presented in the methodology of this paper. In the calculation we work with a multiplier of tourism production calculated for Slovakia. According to Dujavová (2015), the multiplier of domestic tourism production (version B) reaches 1.7048. Fodranová, Kubičková and Michálková (2015) provide a more specific value of the production multiplier for cultural services 1,313 for the simple multiplier and 1,944 for the induced effect multiplier. The overall economic effect achieved by incorporating multipliers of production can be calculated using the following formula:

agggregated expenditures of visitors ×multiplier  =total economic contribution generated by final consumption

If we calculate based on the production multiplier according to Dujavová, the total domestic production generated by the final consumption in relation to the event's attendance is EUR 2,935,188. More specific result with regard to the subject of research of this paper, which is a cultural event, can be obtained if we calculate using the multiplier for cultural services. Thus, if we calculate using the value of a simple multiplier for cultural services by Fodranová, Kubičková and Michálková (2015), the production of EUR 2,260,618 was generated, directly and indirectly, as a result of final consumption in connection with the visitors' attendance of the event. When calculating with a multiplier that also includes the induced effect, the generated production is worth EUR 3,347,023.

5 Conclusion
There are several ways to measure the impact of an event on a territory.  Due to the absence of data, the results reported in the paper were based on primary research supplemented by secondary data, especially in the construction of the ratios indicating the economic significance of the event for the territory. There are also certain limitations of the results due this procedure, especially in the value of the average expenditure per visitor and day and its accuracy with respect to the chosen method of queries. Another limitation is the basis for the calculations consisting in estimating the number of the event's visitors by two subjects, namely the organizer and co-organizer of the event. Authors of the paper are aware of the limitations of such an estimate, but given that the event takes place in an open space of the city, there was no other current option.
We used the total number of visitors as estimated in calculations, we did not disregard attendees of the event coming from Bratislava itself. We assume that the residents of Bratislava who attended the event would attend a non-Bratislava based event if the event wouldn't take place. We consider the Coronation Celebration a significant event that is capable of retaining the residents of Bratislava in its territory during the weekend. However, a field survey could help to answer this question. Our survey revealed that almost 58% of the event's attendees came from outside of Bratislava. By extrapolating the number of visitors from Bratislava and their expenditures, the economic significance of the Coronation Celebration would be much lower.
Application of the multiplier from the national level has another limitation. The multiplier effect at lower territorial levels is smaller, in particular with regard to the location of suppliers in the supply chain and losses from the area. However, the use of a cultural services multiplier allowed for more accurate calculation compared to the calculation on the basis of a multiplier for tourism as a sector (according to the set of sectors of the tourism satellite account).


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