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The Taylor Swift Effect: The Eras World Tour and Its Impact on the Hospitality Industry

As the UK and Ireland eagerly anticipate Taylor Swift's 'The Eras Tour', excitement is brewing not only among fans but also within the hospitality industry. The tour, which has already garnered immense success globally, promises significant economic uplift to the cities fortunate enough to host the pop icon. This article delves into the tour's impact on the hospitality sector, showcases innovative business strategies, examines instances of fan exploitation, and offers insights on how the industry can leverage the positive potential of such mega-events.

The “Swiftonomics” of 'The Eras Tour'

Taylor Swift's 'The Eras Tour' has emerged as a business phenomenon, with its influence extending far beyond concert venues. As the tour traverses the UK, starting in Edinburgh and culminating at London's iconic Wembley Stadium, it brings a wave of economic benefits. Hotels, restaurants, and local businesses are set to experience a surge in patronage, with fans, affectionately known as Swifties, travelling from near and far to witness their beloved star in person. Barclays has noted that the UK is expected to see a £1.2 billion boost from the 15 concerts.

While these ‘swiftonomics’ also benefit retail, the bulk of revenue will flow into hospitality and tourism. According to STR’s most recent reports, Occupancy on the Books for June in host cities like Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, and Dublin is at least 10% ahead of the previous year. London, typically more resistant to mega events due to its larger supply, is also seeing a double-digit increase for the concerts in August. Some hotel chains, such as Whitbread’s Premier Inn, have been fully booked since the tour was announced. In North America, cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati witnessed an average ADR uptick of 71% during the U.S. leg of the tour in 2023.

Swift Leverage

Businesses have swiftly adapted to the influx of Swifties, employing creative strategies to attract increased business. Hotels have introduced themed packages, like Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa’s exclusive ‘Champagne Solution’, designed to appeal to Swifties seeking solace in high-end experiences. Similarly, a Paris bakery has been inundated with special orders featuring Taylor Swift-themed designs. Liverpool has taken creativity a step further, transforming the city into a Taylor Town Trail with art installations representing each era, coinciding with Anfield's three June concerts. These efforts not only attract more business but also enhance the concert-going experience for fans.

Employee Engagement

Taylor Swift’s enduring appeal is built on a deep emotional connection with her fans. Her music and interactions have fostered loyalty, with fans even repurchasing almost identical albums to support her battle for control of her back catalogue. Hospitality businesses can enhance customer experiences by leveraging their employees, many of whom may be fans, to authentically engage and converse with guests about Taylor Swift's music, tour dates, and local events. Concierge services could offer personalised recommendations for local attractions or Swift-themed experiences, ensuring visitors make the most of their stay.

A Reputation at Risk

Despite the tour's successes, some businesses have damaged their reputations by exploiting fan enthusiasm. The Ticketmaster fiasco, where fans faced a chaotic ticket-buying experience, led to public outcry and tarnished the ticketing giant's reputation.

In some cities, hotels dramatically increased room rates once tour dates were announced, resulting in backlash on social media. Hotel prices in Sydney and Melbourne during concert weeks averaged nearly double those of the following week. In Dublin, prices nearly tripled. While dynamic pricing is normal, such opportunism has sparked frustration among fans, potentially damaging long-term reputations.

Lessons Learned

The 'Eras Tour' provides valuable lessons for the hospitality industry. It underscores the importance of preparedness for large-scale events and the need for innovation in customer engagement. Businesses that balance capitalising on opportunities while respecting consumers by investing in their experience are likely to reap long-term rewards. By fostering a positive environment and creating memorable experiences, hospitality businesses can ensure that the ‘Taylor Swift Effect' translates into lasting loyalty, not just a fleeting 'Love Story'.

FM Recruitment

FM Recruitment, part of Hospitality People Group, are a proud sponsor of HOSPA. 

They remain dedicated to exploring all facets of the hospitality industry to provide relevant insights and support our clients' people strategies. This commitment ensures that businesses can harness opportunities like the 'Eras Tour' to create lasting value and positive experiences for their clients.

For further discussion on your people strategy, please contact:

Chris Denison Smith, Managing Director – FM Recruitment

+44 20 8600 1160 / +44 7775 711923

Andrea Shaw, Director – FM Recruitment

+44 20 8600 1160 / +44 7714 236469


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