What is Bilbao Effect?
- The transformation of the decaying small Spanish town by a new museum or cultural facility into a vibrant and attractive place for residents, visitors and inward investment.
- Major credit to the famous Guggenheim museum designed by Frank O Gehry
BEFORE THE GUGGENHEIM:
- A highly congested river port
- Purely industrial city (grey)- iron and steel industry, shipbuilding, chemical factories
- Bilbao was in the grip of an economic recession and identity crisis because heavy industry was in precipitous decline
AFTER THE GUGGENHEIM:
- It was de-industrialisation that stimulated the Bilbao and the Basque governments was a plan to create a major international cultural initiative to revive the city and put it on the map in a period of European integration.
- Rise in service companies, tourism, high technology and dissemination of information and knowledge
- Construction of new buildings
1998 (October 1997 inauguration of the Guggenheim) 1,500,000 visitors, surpassing anticipated numbers.
Change of image for Bilbao: Modern city
- Driving force for consolidating the tourism industry in Basque country
- Improved quality of life for residents in terms of leisure activities
- Stimulator for inbound tourism and commercial activity
- Venue for congresses, seminars, courses, etc.
- Generator of international prestige for the Basque country
- International cultural tourism
- In its first 12 months, 79% of visitors to the Guggenheim came to Bilbao exclusively to see the museum.
- These visitors spent € 186 million, an average of € 168 per visitor.
- Income of sectors benefiting most from the Guggenheim in the first 9 months:
- Over € 63 million on hotels and restaurants
- Over € 48 million in shops and businesses
- Over € 39 million on accommodation companies
- Over € 22 million on the museum itself (tickets, purchases,…)
- Over € 10 million on transport (petrol, tolls…)
- ECONOMIC EFFECT: main reason for attracting and developing tourism in the area
- TOURISTS: tourist spending represents profits for business owners, jobs for residents and revenue via taxes (self-financing).