The Taylor Swift effect not only impacts the entertainment industry but also creates momentum for the global tourism industry, according to experts.
Chilean airline LATAM Airlines has waived ticket change fees for passengers following news of a recent concert being postponed. Air New Zealand also opened an additional 2,000 seats for sale during the female singer’s tour. The destinations where Taylor Swift performed reaped such great economic benefits that political leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also had to call on the female singer to perform. On a more personal level, many fans also choose to travel with their idols by going to the cities where Taylor Swift is touring.
Brittany Hodak, book author and customer experience expert, commented that the Eras Tour is the biggest cultural event that people will plan to travel to during this period. Unlike the World Cup or Olympics, which are concentrated in a few cities, Swift’s tour is boosting tourism globally.
“It’s no surprise that world leaders openly advocate for their countries as host venues,” Hodak said.
The impact of the Eras Tour on the tourism industry has been proven by the numbers that cities in the US earn from this tour. $5 billion is a figure often cited in fan spending statistics in the US related to Eras Tours. However, in reality, the American Travel Association believes that the total revenue of this tour is more than 10 billion USD.
Lighthouse, a data provider for the travel and hospitality industry, called Eras Tour “a hotel industry phenomenon” in research published in August. Meanwhile, STR, a data provider and analysis of the global hotel industry, estimating that hotels raked in $208 million following Taylor Swift’s US concerts over the summer. However, this is only a statistic from the female singer’s 53 concert nights, not including the night before and after the concert. RateGain, a global provider of travel and hospitality data, also noted a “lasting effect” on tour destinations as travelers are creating a concept called “Swift vacations”.
Great demand leads to high consumer prices. Compiling data from 13 stops of Taylor Swift’s North American tour, Lighthouse found that hotel room prices in the month before Swift’s tour increased on average 7.7% year-over-year and higher. 7.2% during the month of the tour.
In Pittsburgh, Taylor Swift’s two shows on June 16 and 17 generated $46 million in direct revenue, with 83% of attendees coming from other places. The city’s hotel occupancy averaged 95%, the highest since the pandemic and the second-highest weekend occupancy on record.
RateGain data also shows that in Buenos Aires, where three shows opened for the South American tour, bookings in the Argentine capital were still soaring even the day after the concerts.
In Europe and the UK, where Swift plays 50 concerts in the spring and summer of 2024, there are signs that demand is surging, according to Lighthouse data. Specifically, in Amsterdam, where three shows are scheduled to take place in July, hotel searches are seeing a surge, with weekend prices increasing by about 160 euros. Meanwhile, hotel prices in Dublin, Ireland, where three shows are being held this weekend, have recorded an increase of about 100 euros.
People who have worked in the hotel industry for a long time were also surprised by the enthusiasm of Taylor Swift’s fan community. Stephen Borecki, General Manager of Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans Downtown, shared “never seen an event receive so much attention”. Specifically, right after the announcement of the final leg in North America of the Eras Tour, this accommodation facility received “dozens of calls and emails” every day asking about room availability. Additionally, hotels in the area predict Swift’s three-day performance will generate 150% more revenue than the 2025 Super Bowl, also held in New Orleans.
According to Hodak, in the near future it will be difficult for any event to create as much attraction as the Eras Tour, “perhaps not until Swift tours again”. Units in the tourism industry need to know how to take advantage of this moment.
However, the tour also encountered some controversy. At a concert in South America, a fan died right in the stadium due to heat stroke. Taylor Swift then announced the postponement of the second concert to avoid similar incidents occurring in hot weather.