An economic impact study conducted by a Trinity University marketing professor revealed that the 2016 Book Festival brought in an estimated $1 million to San Antonio. The results showed that nearly 90% of the 18,000 attendees of the 2016 SABF spent an average of $58 per person, for a total of $930,696 generated in revenue for the City of San Antonio on the weekend of April 2, 2016.
“This is a very significant study for our four-year-old event,” said Katy Flato, SABF’s Executive Director. “It costs $450,000 to put on the Book Festival, all of which is raised from private donations and contributions from the city budget. For every dollar that goes into SABF, more than two dollars are put back into the San Antonio economy.”
The study was a collaboration between the Book Festival and Dr. Mario Gonzalez-Fuentes, a marketing professor at Trinity University. Dr. Gonzalez assigned the project to his Marketing and Business Research students, who then devised the questionnaire, attended the Festival, and surveyed attendees to collect the data.
The students found that of the estimated 18,000 people who were at the 4th annual Festival:
- nearly 16% are from outside Bexar County with almost 80% of that group staying in San Antonio hotels to attend the Book Festival;
- 64% were first-time Festival goers while 33% had attended all three previous Book Festivals;
- more than half fell in the 21-44 age group; and
- 60% were female.
Most importantly, those who were surveyed overwhelmingly reported that their expenses (food, beverages, entertainment, shopping including SABF purchases, accommodations, etc.) were a direct result of the San Antonio Book Festival–meaning that they would not have spent that money if it were not for the Book Festival on April 2.
“Considering that the Book Festival is a one-day event, this figure [$930,696] is very impressive,” said Dr. Gonzalez. “It is also important to consider that the study does not measure the cultural impact of the Book Festival on attendees as well as the impact of advancing San Antonio as a literary destination.”
Dr. Gonzalez will conduct a four-year analysis of the Book Festival’s economic impact on the City of San Antonio. Be sure to stop and visit with the Trinity University students on April 8 to help us collect the data for the 5th annual SABF!