World Youth Day brought in €370 million to Lisbon

 In Events, Local economy, News

An economic impact study from the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) on World Youth Day held in the Portuguese capital last summer has estimated that the event organised by Lisbon City Council and the Catholic Church brought in revenues of around €370 million.

Last August the event, which attracted millions of young people from all over the world, brought in €310 million overall and at least €290 million for the Lisbon region.

In the short term, the event may have created up to 10,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2023 while net income after all cost deductions was estimated to be around €216 million.

Deductions would include the cost of infrastructure and equipment at around €48 million, while the study suggested that there was undoubtedly a non-quantifiable long term positive effect in terms of the city’s reputation and on future intentions of tourists to visit Portugal.

Visitor numbers at the event stood at around 1.5 million people; more than twice Lisbon’s population during the week August 1-6, 2023.

The consultancy PwC had estimated a 65% increase on the average total expenditure in Lisbon for that week in August, while for the registered pilgrims who flocked to see the Pope, total expenses were estimated at between €47 million and €69 million, with a further spend of €49 million to €73 million for non-registered pilgrims.

However, at the time there was a feeling that most pilgrims, often young and travelling on tight budgets, would not bring in significant revenues to the city’s hotels, restaurants and shops. Indeed, many pilgrims were hosted by local families.

Tiago Quaresma, Vice President of the Portuguese Hospitality, Restaurant, and Similar Association (AHRESP) (and co-founder of Mensagem), believed that “the biggest misconception of the event had to do with the calendar.” He considered that the event would not increase the demand that had already been registered in the restaurant and hospitality sectors in Lisbon and pointed out that some segments in the sector had not been convinced about the economic benefits and returns from the large international event.