Book Festival Brings $1.5 Million to SA Economy

  • May 17, 2017
Book Festival Brings $1.5 Million to SA Economy - San Antonio Book Festival

During Book Festival weekend, the 5th annual SABF generated $1.5 million for San Antonio’s economy. A study by Trinity University revealed that the estimated 20,000 Festival attendees spent an average of $54 per person as a direct result of the Book Festival, for a total of $1,089,000 generated in revenue for the City of San Antonio. With the added $500,000 spent by the Book Festival to produce the event, hiring local businesses and vendors for printing, event management, etc., the total amount generated for the city’s economy exceeds $1.5 million.

The study is the result of a partnership with Trinity University to conduct a four-year research project during the Book Festival that would determine the Festival’s economic impact on the City of San Antonio. Dr. Mario Gonzalez-Fuentes, Assistant Professor of Marketing in Trinity’s Department of Business Administration, leads the study and assigns it to his spring semester students. The results of the 2016 Book Festival economic impact study can be read here.

“The economic impact study continues to be an extremely valuable tool for us,” said Executive Director Katy Flato. “We can show our funders that their contribution to the Book Festival is more than an investment in the literacy and intellect of our residents. It’s an investment in our city’s economy.”

Festival goers purchase books in the Barnes & Noble tent at the 5th annual San Antonio Book Festival on April 8, 2017.

This year’s study revealed the following:

  • 82% of Festival goers are residents of Bexar County;
  • 70% of out-of-towners spent an average of $107 a night to stay in a hotel;
  • 63% were first-timers;
  • 36% have attended the Book Festival 3 times or more;
  • 56% of Festival goers fall in the 21-44 age bracket;
  • 63% are female; and
  • 30% heard about the Book Festival through word of mouth, with social media being the 2nd most popular way to learn about SABF at 24%.

Putting on the annual Book Festival costs about $500,000. That money comes from the City of San Antonio, foundations, corporations, and individual donations. The economic impact study reveals that every dollar invested in the Book Festival becomes more than three dollars for the City of San Antonio.

A total of 21 students participated in every stage of the project, from the design of the questionnaire and the data collection efforts to the analysis and reporting of the results. Huge thanks to Professor Gonzalez’s students and to those of you who took the time to answer their survey questions. 

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