The summary of the report is avalable at:
D.Sc. (Econ.), Docent Elias Oikarinen:
Ex post evaluation of the economic impacts of Turku Capital of Culture project: Main results
Director Aki Koponen: Long-term economic impact of Turku 2011 project
The research is compiled by Turku School of Economics
The economic impact of the Turku Capital of Culture year clearly higher than predicted
The European Capital of Culture year 2011 brought to Turku and Southwest Finland a production impact of altogether 260 million euros. This was 60 million euros higher than was preliminarily estimated. To reach long-term positive well-being impacts, concrete actions are needed in addition to strategy work.
Turku School of Economics has compiled a report for the Turku 2011 Foundation about the economic impact of the Capital of Culture year on Turku and the whole Southwest Finland. According to the results, the total production and employment impacts were clearly higher than expected.
According to the preliminary estimate drawn up at the Turku School of Economics in 2009, the employment impact would have been 2,300 person-years, when successful. Converted into monetary value, this would have corresponded to a 200 million euro growth of total production.
- Now, according to the final calculated figures, the increase in employment was 3,300 person-years, and the total production impact was 260 million euros. Thus the Capital of Culture year was a bigger economic success than what was initially estimated, tells Docent Elias Oikarinen, who made the calculations for the report.
Roughly estimating, 80 % of the impacts remained in the Turku region, and 20 % elsewhere in Southwest Finland. The majority of the production and employment impacts consisted of increased tourism. In the increase of tourism, only such domestic travel into Turku was considered which resulted from the Capital of Culture year. The figures do not include the data of international tourism or such tourism in Turku which would have taken place even without the Capital of Culture year.
The report's qualitative research section, based on interest groups’ interview material, produces an image of the long-term opportunities the Capital of Culture year created for Turku.
– The Capital of Culture year was not just a one-off series of events, but it has been a transitional rite to a new era. The year can also serve as a lever for the emergence of a new business life support – creative industries – in Turku. One decisive factor is how Logomo manages to attract players of the field under the same roof, ponders Aki Koponen, Director at the Centre for Collaborative Research.
Vivid culture life is known to increase the attraction of a city, as well as the social and economic well-being of the residents.
- This is why creative industries must be given a strong position in the city's strategy work and industrial policy. The time for opportunities and concrete actions is now, emphasises Koponen.
According to Christoffer Taxell, Chairman of the Turku 2011 Foundation, the study shows that the Capital of Culture year was a success, besides to its contents, also economically. According to Taxell, the example of Turku is one proof of the evident connection between a robust culture and a successful economy.
- There is reason to invest in culture already as such. The positive experiences of the Capital of Culture year and the strong engagement of the inhabitants in Turku show, however, that culture in a wider sense has a strong potential also in the construction of the future of the Turku region, Taxell believes.
- One therefore hopes that the City of Turku and its decision makers really will make use of the possibilities that culture now offers. Investment in culture is not primarily a cost item, but a profitable investment, when viewed from developing education, knowledge and economy. Culture does good. This is the strong message also of the now published study, says Taxell.