The Prague Quadrennial Earned the State Twice What It Gave in Subsidies

Thanks to the event visitors to Prague spent over 164 million Crowns and new jobs were created; The twelfth year of the event in 2011 drew participation from 50,000 visitors from a total of 61 countries.

A study of the economic impact of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, held last year in Prague, reveals that it was one of the most successful cultural projects of 2011, not just for artists, but also in an economic perspective. Research conducted among 18,000 individual paying visitors showed that in connection with their attendance at this event people spent more than 164 million Crowns and there was an increase in revenue of 393 million Crowns. Every Crown in the budget of the Prague Quadrennial thus generated almost 6 Crowns in revenue for the Czech economy and two Crowns of GDP.

The results confirm that thanks to visitors coming to Prague and the Czech Republic just to attend the PQ and staying longer than regular tourists, the subsidies from Prague City Hall and the Ministry of Culture are fully paid back to the state and city in the form of taxes and local fees’, says Daniela Pařízková, executive director of the Prague Quadrennial.

The results of the study of the economic impact of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in 2011 (PQ) for the Czech Republic and the City of Prague show that the state and city got a return on every Crown of financial support. The thousands of visitors from the Czech Republic and abroad who came to Prague primarily for the purpose of attending the PQ spent 164 million CzK. The event increased the output of the Czech economy and GDP, and created jobs. The results of the study thus demonstrate that the expenditures of visitors combined with the expenditures of the organisers make a significant contribution to the Czech economy and that culture and cultural events are a good economic investment and an important attraction for foreign visitors.

Similar studies have been conducted abroad by large international events, such as the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and these studies are an important argument for regional and state administration in discussions over support for culture, because they confirm that it is significant even from an economic perspective,’ says Pavla Petrová, director of the Arts and Theatre Institute and the Prague Quadrennial.

Research also revealed an increase in revenue of 393.1 mil. CzK

The international Prague Quadrennial 2011 was unusual for visitors in that, alongside having the opportunity to view the best scenography from around the world, they also for the first time encountered interviewers who were collecting data for an analysis of the event’s economic impact. Total attendance at the Prague Quadrennial 2011 was 50,000 visitors over 11 days.

The questionnaire survey aimed at 18,000 individual paying visitors. Approximately 27% of respondents were from Prague, 6% were from other regions of the Czech Republic, and full 67% were from abroad. Visitors spent more than 164 million Czech crowns during the visit to the PQ on accommodation, transportation, food and other services, and shopping.

Taxes and mandatory insurance vs. state subsidies of the PQ

(including all taxes and insurance payments paid as a result of the expenditures of visitors and the expenditures of the organisers of the PQ and their suppliers)

Thanks to the expenditures of the visitors and the expenditures made in connection with organising the event Czech economic output increased by 393.1 mil. CzK, of which 111.6 mil. Czk represented the total increase in the gross added value (or GDP) of the Czech economy. Expenditures of the PQ and visitors to the event put 61.1 mil. CzK in the state coffers in the form of taxes and mandatory social and health insurance, which is almost twice the amount of the state subsidies from the Czech Ministry of Culture. A study of the economic impact shows that every Crown in the budget of the Prague Quadrennial generates almost six Crowns for the Czech economy and two Crowns in GDP (resp. gross added value).

Foreigners made up the largest group of visitors and their expenditures represent pure income for the economies of the Czech Republic and Prague. Without the Prague Quadrennial the Czech economy’s production would be lower by 239.2 mil. CzK and its GDP by 72.5 mil. Czk, and 160.7 fewer jobs in the year would have been created and 35.7 mil. CzK less in wages paid.

Over 90% of expenditures on the event stayed in Prague

The Prague Quadrennial is very significant for the city itself, as over 90% of expenditures on the organisation of the event and expenditures made by visitors went to Prague businesses. City Hall received a return on its subsidies of 1.5. mil. CzK just in the accommodation expenses of visitors and guests.

Although the importance of the Prague Quadrennial mainly lies in its international cultural significance, it is obvious that culture and cultural events can be a very good investment and an attractive draw for foreign tourists, who come to the city to spend money and thus contribute to the Czech economy. The PQ significantly helps to promote the city and the Czech Republic as cultural tourist destinations.

There is no doubt about the economic contribution of culture even in the opinion of economist Tomáš Sedláček: ‘Culture is of incredible significance and some people simply need to measure that in numbers. Where the muses are silent, numbers talk, and vice versa.’

The analysis was done by Economic impacT

The full economic analysis of PQ 2011 is available at The Arts and Theatre Institute worked on the study with the agency Economic impacT, which specialises in analysing economic impact. The impact study draws on data obtained through interviews with visitors and on internal data of the organisers, which are subject to an input-output analysis using the national budget statistics of the Czech Statistical Office and supply and use tables. These record the flow of goods and services between different sectors of the Czech economy. Experts regard this as the most precise and most sophisticated method of determining the economic impact of investment projects, government incentives, and so on. Its advantage is that it can determine the direct and indirect effects of an event caused by the economic activity of all suppliers and the whole chain of sub-supplier of services and products necessary to the given event (so it also encompasses multiplier effects).

About the Prague Quadrennial

The most recent Prague Quadrennial welcomed more than 50,000 visitors from almost 80 countries to more than 15,000 m2 of exhibition space filled with installations, exhibitions of photography and artefacts, screenings and life performances, and 500 events, workshop performances presentations, lectures and debates.

Work from a record 61 countries was presented at the twelfth year of the Prague Quadrennial. The international jury awarded the Golden Triga 2011 to an exhibit from Brazil in the Countries and Regions Section for conveying the ‘rich diversity and range of scenography and production that Brazil offers. Equal attention was devoted to street art, site-specific events, socially involved performances, puppetry, and traditional theatre.’ More on the PQ can be found at


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