Taylor Swift’s influence extends far beyond the music industry and into the realm of tourism and city development. To city officials, studying the “Taylor Swift Effect” can be beneficial as the concerts can attract visitors and increase revenue for local businesses, which leads to overall economic growth in the city. To expand upon the growing consumer figures associated with the Eras tour, we wanted to investigate how visit behaviors were impacted.
We hypothesized that hotel visitation would experience a major increase around concert dates, as many fans may be visiting from out-of-town. We selected nine mid-sized cities that hosted multi-day performances and identified hotels within a 10-mile radius of the concert venues. The visitation rates to these hotels on the concert dates were then compared to the previous 4-week averages.
The “Taylor Swift Effect” is a phenomenon of increased tourism and economic growth in cities where the popstar may be performing. Her concerts have been shown to generate significant economic activity, including hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, and merchandise sales. In the first three months of the Eras tour, the tour generated $98.2 million in hotel room revenue, according to STR’s June report. City officials and business owners can benefit from studying this effect to plan future events, such as organizing another Taylor Swift tour event or bringing in other artists of similar magnitude.
Along with financial records, this study aims to investigate if there was a similar spike in hotel visitation across different cities as fans attend Taylor Swift’s concerts. As expected, our data shows similar trends to most revenue reports. Most hotels around the concert venue experience a spike in visitation, with some seeing up to a 29% increase compared to the weeks prior. The city that saw the biggest spike was Pittsburgh. On one night alone, the city’s Acrisure Stadium saw around 73,000 fans in attendance, which does not include fans outside the stadium. When looking at all fans, inside and outside the venue, a single night can bring about 200,000 fans into the city. One can see why hotels in other cities were reporting up to 80% occupancy when Taylor Swift comes to town.
According to our metrics, not all cities experienced this boost; Detroit experienced a decrease in hotel visitation compared to the preceding weeks. We decided to dive deeper into our data as consumer reports in Detroit noted the opposite. The Detroit Grand Prix occurred the weekend before the Taylor Swift concert, and this significant event made our comparison show lower activity on the concert dates. In fact, when looking at the day-to-day trends for three nearby hotels, we observed a visit peak occurring before the Grand Prix for all locations. Since the baseline values included these peak dates, the comparison calculation did not reflect the expected increase.
We validated the revenue reports and news stories we read related to the Eras Tour. For most cities, we did see a spike in hotel visitation, but our metrics also showed lower visit activity in Detroit. We were skeptical of this result, and a secondary visual was needed to further explain what happened.
For our analysis, we examined the normalized visits for dates surrounding the major concerts from Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, which began in March 2023.
Percent Difference: Concert Day Hotel Visitation vs. Previous 4 Weeks
Supplementary Chart for Detroit (Normalized Visits by Date)
Analysis from PlaceIQ reveals mirrored patterns in 2021 and 2022 traffic – predicting an enthusiastic return in traffic.
Black Friday retail spending increases surpassed visitation increases with larger basket sizes, higher in-store conversion rates, and demand for savings.
Despite a pull back in consumer spend, online shopping has maintained a strong signal, particularly for households with kids.