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News from Members EY Study: Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism can Become Strategic Assets for the Economies of Big Cities in Romania

EY Study: Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism can Become Strategic Assets for the Economies of Big Cities in Romania

by EY January 15, 2016

Website www.ey.com

► George Enescu, Sunwaves, Electric Castle and Untold festivals – the frontline of cultural tourism in Romania
► Developing a cultural infrastructure is a priority for Romania
► A new creative class emerges with the growth of global cities

The number and scale of cities continue to grow across the globe — driven by rapid urbanization in emerging markets and continued urbanization in mature markets. According to the United Nations (UN), 54% of the world’s population now lives in cities, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 66%.

The lure of culture and its economic impact
According to EY Cultural Times study, which analyzes 11 global creative industries , A rich cultural life has become a major asset for countries seeking to attract corporate executives and talented employees — who are typically keen consumers of culture and entertainment — as well as culture driven tourists. Developing cultural infrastructure is especially important for emerging countries, which will attract more than half of international tourists by 2030.

„Eastern Europe is already an attraction for the continental cultural tourism. Romania can successfully leverage this interest, especially on the music and film festivals segment. A frontrunner in this respect is for sure the George Enescu Festival. According to the organizers’ data, the 2013 edition has attracted over 20,000 foreign tourists for three weeks in Bucharest. Apart from the tickets purchased to attend the festival, the economic impact of their stay in our capital city is significant. However, Bucharest is not the only Romanian city that can compete on the cultural tourism market in the region. The electronic music festival <>, which takes place twice a year in Mamaia and which already has an 8-year history, or the two emblematic festivals for Cluj-Napoca – Electric Castle şi Untold – attract annually thousands of foreign tourists, becoming strategic assets for these cities’ local economies”, comments Elena Badea, Marketing Director, EY Romania

Cultural projects are drivers of urban regeneration
Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country, is now an icon of culture-led urban regeneration, with the Guggenheim Museum. In a region blighted by high unemployment in the 1990s (around 25%), the US$700m revitalization plan enhanced the city’s attractiveness, underpinned 4,400 existing jobs in the city, and created more than 1,000 full-time jobs. Tourist visits have since multiplied eight-fold.

„The cultural infrastructure is a catalyst of urban development: building a museum often offers opportunities to engage in large urban development projects and to develop a new “city brand” around cultural and creative industries. Such flagship projects boost a city’s attractiveness for tourists, talent and highly skilled workers”, says Elena Badea.

Developing a cultural infrastructure is a priority for Romania

Globally, some cities are deliberately developing cultural zones. Examples include the Zorlu Center near Istanbul, Odaiba in Tokyo, West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, NDSM in Amsterdam and Stratford City Development in London. Zorlu Center, nine kilometers from the heart of Istanbul, includes not only a premium shopping mall (105,000 sqm) and hotels, but also a large cultural center (50,000 sqm) with two theaters and exhibition spaces.

The inaugural season (2014–15) was to include 400 performances in front of 500,000 spectators. In France, culture-based tourism (festivals, live music, operas and galleries, but excluding historic sites) generated US$2.6b in 2013. Cultural heritage, activities and events are urban growth accelerators, and play a major role in urban renewal. In Japan, the Odaiba artificial island brings together business, leisure and cultural infrastructure. The island’s two museums and its cultural events (the Comic Market and Gundam festival attract international gaming, manga and anime enthusiasts) underpin the success and attractions of this Tokyo district. The Comic Market draws twice a year almost 500,000 people in a three-day event.

„Regarding the infrastructure for cultural activities, Romania needs solid investment to bridge this obvious gap. If it is too early to talk about cultural zones, built specially for hosting large-scale cultural events, we can focus on developing a smaller-scale urban infrastructure, such as concert halls and exposition spaces. We have all seen unfortunately the horrid consequences that lack of access to these facilities can bring in the community, along with the impact on creative industries such as music and performing arts, which lack expression space. Developing this infrastructure is one of the key elements that can stimulate cultural tourism in Romania’s urban centers”, explains Elena Badea.

A new creative class emerges with the growth of global cities

The world is young — 1.8 billion of the world’s population was between 10 and 24 years old in 2014, a record high — and global literacy has improved significantly. Strong economic growth and young populations are already combining to produce a surge of middle class consumers in many emerging markets. Nowhere is this trend stronger than in Asia and Africa: the rapid emergence of Asia’s middle class is adding a leisure center to the world’s manufacturing hub. Already, Asia counts 525 million middleclass cultural consumers.

Urbanization, coupled with the development of cultural activities, is also fueling the emergence of a new economic class in both developed and emerging countries — the “creative class.” This class, according to Richard Florida, urban studies theorist, includes “super-creative” scientists, artists, engineers, designers and novelists, as well as “creative professionals” who work in a wide range of knowledge-based occupations.

The creative class is the incarnation of the triptych “Technology, Talent and Tolerance”, defined by Florida, and is a key motor of growth, innovation and attractiveness in urban areas. The combination of cheap inner city property and strong endorsement of creative freedom helped revive Berlin, which now draws artists and cultural entrepreneurs from around the world.

According to the EY Global Talent in Global Cities 2015 study, the city ranking for creative class attraction is:

1. New York — enjoys a unique cultural scene, embedded in a cosmopolitan and forward-thinking urban environment, generally considered beneficial to creative activities
2. London — ahead of Paris owing to its international openness (33% of its population was born abroad, compared with just 12% in Paris)
3. Paris — ranks third due to its cultural heritage and technology assets, but is penalized by a weaker entrepreneurial environment

About EY Romania

EY is one of the world's leading professional services firms with approximately cu 212.000 employees in 700 offices across 150 countries, and revenues of approximately $28,7 billion in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014. Our network is the most integrated at global level and its vast resources allow us to help our clients benefit from every opportunity. In Romania, EY has been a leader on the professional services market since its set up in 1992. Our over 650 employees in Romania and Moldova provide seamless assurance, tax, transactions, and advisory services to clients ranging from multinationals to local companies. Our offices are based in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi and Chisinau. EY Romania is the most attractive employer in consultancy in the country, and the most sought after employer out of the Big4, according to studies conducted by Catalyst and Trendence 2015. For more information, please visit www.ey.com.

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