In this high-profile music-pandemic world, the global music industry is experiencing a resurgence, with high-profile tours making a powerful comeback. Pop icons like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé are no longer just entertainment figures – they are economic phenomena capable of significantly influencing consumption patterns in the cities they choose to tour. This article explores how pop culture, particularly these can’t-miss tours, along with the rise of “set jetting,” have and will continue to impact travel in 2023.
The Frenzy of Concert Tickets
When the dates for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour were announced in Australia, fans were in a frenzy to score tickets. Demand far exceeded supply, resulting in inflated prices from unregulated resales. The Australian government stepped in to prevent this practice and protect consumers, which highlights the tremendous impact that these worldwide tours have on both the economy and the cultural landscape of host cities.
Despite the global economic downturn, Taylor Swift’s tour is projected to generate economic activity of $5 billion in the United States alone. This includes not only direct ticket sales bookings but also associated costs such as flights, hotel bookings and discretionary spending in the host cities. The tour is also expected to boost tourism, as fans travel to different venues around the world to see their favorite artists perform.
Similarly, Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour had a significant impact on tourism in Stockholm, Sweden. The influx of Beyoncé fans, taking advantage of favorable exchange rates and affordable concert ticket prices, led to a surge in tourists and increased hotel prices. This spike contributed to inflationary pressures in Sweden, further illustrating the economic implications of these pop stars on tour.
“Set Jetting”: Exploring Filming Locations
Along with global concerts, “set jetting” has emerged as a popular travel trend. Set jetting references traveling to locations where popular movies or TV shows are or were filmed. Fans are willing to travel great distances to experience the magic of their favorite scenes in person. The destinations that serve as backdrops for iconic films or TV series are enjoying a significant increase in film-related tourism – and tourism boards around the world are taking notice. The success of the Emmy-winning TV series “Game of Thrones” led to a surge in visitors to locations such as Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Northern Ireland, where art destinations were filmed. The popular Max series, “The White Lotus” has been the catalyst for an influx of tourism in their filming locations in Hawaii and Sicily, Italy. Set-jetting enthusiasts are drawn to these often-picturesque destinations, creating a unique form of tourism that impacts local economies and travel demand.
The Intersection of Music and Set Jetting
The influence of pop music extends beyond concerts. Artists often choose unique and iconic locations for their music videos and album covers, which can also become sought-after destinations for fans. These locations gain recognition and attract visitors who want to experience the connection to their favorite artists.
For instance, Taylor Swift’s music video for “Blank Space” was filmed at Oheka Castle in New York, and Beyoncé’s “Formation” video featured several distinct locations in New Orleans. Fans of these artists are often inspired to visit these places, immersing themselves in the music and culture they love.
Impact of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour on Travel Demand
Adara Hotel bookings data reflects a clear shift in leisure travel demand in Nashville with Taylor Swift’s Eras Music Tour. For 2023, the number of hotel bookings for leisure travel in Nashville followed a similar pattern as 2022 until mid-April. However, it had a remarkable growth in the 19th week of 2023, the same time as the tour dates – 5th to 7th of May. The hotel booking rose a few weeks prior to the event. However, as the tour to Nashville came to a conclusion, the travel demand didn’t slump. Rather, it rose further in the next few weeks. Similar surges in travel demand were observed for other tour locations as well.
The Shift of Advance Period Booking Composition Towards Beyoncé’s Concert Date in Stockholm
The flight booking patterns for Stockholm reflect that people traveled to the city in the 1st and 2nd week of May, coinciding with Beyoncé’s Tour to Stockholm. As the booking volume indicates, the advance booking composition showed a shift every month toward dates closer to the event in May. The majority of the bookings in February were made for travel dates 61-90 days in the future. But by April, the major composition of bookings was made for travel dates 15-30 days in the future. An overall rise in bookings was also observed as the date of Beyoncé’s tour came closer.
Post-Pandemic Tourism and Travel Demand
The high demand for concert tickets and set-jetting experiences can largely be attributed to the lack of live music events and travel during the pandemic. With lockdowns and safety restrictions lifted, fans are eager to attend shows, explore filming locations, and travel to destinations related to their favorite artists and productions.
In Singapore, students have even requested national holidays on concert days, highlighting the significance of these events for tourism. Additionally, set-jetting enthusiasts plan trips to immerse themselves in the world of their beloved films or TV shows. This renewed enthusiasm for travel, driven by popular culture, is expected to shape the travel landscape in 2023.
Competition Among Countries and Cities
As the economic benefits of live music and film tourism become evident, countries and cities are competing to attract these global events and productions. The positive impact on tourism, local businesses, and the overall economy are driving forces behind this competition. Governments and tourism boards are actively seeking opportunities to host major concerts, film festivals, and film productions to leverage the economic potential they bring. Many tourism boards and ministries of tourism have a complementary film tourism office, offering a variety of tax incentives to production teams.
Pop culture, including high-profile tours featuring global pop icons like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, along with the rise of set-jetting, will profoundly impact travel in 2023. These global tours and the exploration of filming locations generate substantial economic activity in host cities and influence tourism, hotel occupancy, and even inflation rates. As the post-pandemic travel boom continues, fans are eager to attend concerts, explore iconic destinations, and immerse themselves in the world of their favorite artists and productions.
In this new era, countries and cities will strive to attract global tours, film productions, and set-jetting experiences, recognizing the significant economic benefits they bring. The competition to secure these events and destinations will intensify, ultimately benefiting the tourism industry and driving economic growth. The impact of popular culture, combined with the jet-setting mentality of fans, creates a unique dynamic that will shape the travel landscape in the years to come.
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