Turku’s year as European Capital of Culture was a success even from the economic perspective
The impact on Southwest Finland was to swell GNP by EUR 260 million
The economic impact of Turku's year in the sun as European Capital of Culture on the city itself and the wider region of Southwest Finland was appreciably greater than expected.
According to a report compiled by the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, the Capital of Culture year brought to Turku and the Southwest a production impact totalling some EUR 260 million, while the increase in employment was 3,300 person-years.
The majority of the production and employment impacts consisted of increased tourism. Tourists who visited Turku spent EUR 17 million on accommodation services, which was almost four times more than was preliminarily estimated.
The investments in the Capital of Culture year amounted to EUR 55 million, of which the City of Turku accounted for approximately EUR 18 million.
”This does not mean that our original estimates were overly cautious. On the contrary, we set our expectations very high, and still exceeded them considerably”, says Director Aki Koponen of the Turku School of Economics.
According to Christoffer Taxell, the Chairman of the Turku 2011 Foundation Board, the fact that their definition of ”culture” was broad eventually became a strength.
”There is an evident connection between culture and a successful economy. A financially difficult period is no reason why we should not invest in culture”, Taxell noted at a press conference in Turku on Wednesday.
Those in charge of Turku’s Capital of Culture year are now concerned whether the City of Turku and its decision-makers will be able to make use of the added value produced by the past year and the possibilities that culture now offers.
The year has already now produced about 80 new and warmed-over culture projects for the upcoming summer season in Turku.
”The really big question is what will happen in 2013”, says Cay Sevón, the Chief Executive Officer of the Turku 2011 Foundation.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Turku - European Capital of Culture 2011 is set to start celebrations on January 15th (4.1.2011)
Fireworks and pyrotechnics spectacle to open Turku´s European Capital of Culture term in 2011 (10.6.2010)
European Capital of Culture (Wikipedia)
Turku 2011 Foundation
Turku press release 16.5.2012