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17th April 2013 Sara Lock

The growth of the folk festival in cultural tourism

By: Morris Hargreaves McIntyre


The folk festival scene is growing and is an essential part of the folk industry, providing performance opportunities, local employment, a market place for local products, a stimulus to local economies and audience development opportunities.

This report looks at the rising impact of the folk festival on local economies and cultural tourism using research from a sample of over 4000 adult festival goers. It provides insight into audience demographics, access, experiences, investment and local economics.

Folk festivals attract tourists with money to spend

  • Over 90% of folk festival attenders are tourists.
  • That’s 315,000 tourism visits every year.
  • These visitors spend an estimated 1.3 million nights away from home.
  • This includes up to 300,000 paid-for bed nights in hotels and B&Bs.
  • These paid-for bed nights generate £8.34 million spend in the accommodation sector.
  • The other million bed nights are mainly spent on camp sites with some people visiting friends and relatives. 17% of festival tourists stay on in the area after the festival, generating further tourism spending.

“People take the time and make it a holiday and people come from very long distances.”

Folk festival attenders come from the higher socio-economic groups. 93% of festival attenders are ABC1s. 49% are AB, the highest socioeconomic group

| Published:2013

Smart tags: tourism festivals

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