Hay Festival reports £70m boost to local economy

Hay Festival reports £70m boost to local economy

The economic impact of the Hay Festival on the local area has totalled more than £70m in the past three years, according to research carried out for the event.

A study, conducted by data collection provider QRS Research, showed that the festival generated £25.8m in the area in 2018, 26% higher than in 2016.

Maggie Kerr, development director of Hay Festival, said: “Every year during festival week Hay throws its doors open to the world. The festival, Hay’s bookshops, shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants, campsites, hotels and community all give a welcome like no other place.

“Our research shows how valuable these visitors are to the town’s economy and how important the warm welcome they receive is to their experience. We’ll continue to work closely with our neighbours and friends to ensure that keeps moving forwards, but overall it’s good news for the town.”

The report is published in the festival’s annual report, which showed that 41% of festival attendees stayed in local accommodation for an average of four nights. The number of tickets sold was 273,000, 18,000 more than in 2017, and attendees gave an average satisfaction score of 8.6 out of 10.

Andrew Williams, chair of Hay-on-Wye Chamber of Commerce, praised the report's findings, saying: “The festival is always a huge highlight of the business year here in Hay. As a Chamber of Commerce we know that our members are thrilled to see the impact on the local economy of the festival visitors. We work closely with Hay Festival to encourage more people to visit our wonderful town and look forward to welcoming them. Roll on 2019.”

This year the Hay Festival took place 24th May-3rd June and 700 speakers took part in 800 events. More than 8,000 pupils attended the festival free of charge and 92 schools live-streamed events into their classrooms thanks to funding from the Hay Festival Foundation and the Welsh Government.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend will take place 22-25 November 2018 and Hay Festival 2019 will run 23rd May-2nd June 2019.