The economic impact of Matera 2019
The experience of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 produced significant economic effects in the region. This special section of the portal illustrates the results that emerged both from the analysis of the internal databases of the Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019 (dynamic chart), and from the elaboration of a series of databases of entities such as Apt Basilicata, Istat, Infocamere-Movimprese, conducted within certain independent assessment studies on the theme (static infographics).
Spill over effects and impact on the local supply chain
An examination of the categories of suppliers to which the Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019 turned to implement the cultural programme showed that there was a massive activation not only of the production chains linked to the cultural and creative sector, but of other sectors as well, directly stimulated by the investment in original cultural productions, which experienced a spill-over effect. A further analysis of the provenance of these suppliers showed that Matera 2019 became a proven incentive for the local economic and entrepreneurial fabric. As illustrated in the assessment study “The effect of original productions on the cultural and creative chains and on other sectors” by PtsClas Spa, 59% of the legally binding commitments were reserved for local Lucanian businesses representing 44% of the Fondazione’s total budget. Excluding the category of artistic or curatorial services – sectors for which a high degree of internationalization was expected – from the basket of services and supplies the Fondazione relied on, 71% of the contracts signed with entities from Central or Southern Italy were with companies or professionals from Lucania.
The chart offers a visualisation of the suppliers divided into three geographic macro-areas (Basilicata, Italy, Foreign)
- Geographical area
- Type of expense
- Expense amount
The impact of a year of culture
Below is some of the most significant data that emerged from two studies conducted to assess the impact of Matera 2019: “The economic impact of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019” by City-O and “Matera 2019. Economic and social impact. Scenarios and ideas to manage the legacy and post Covid-19 revitalization” by SRM Services. For further information, please see the Appendix attached to the Monitoring Report.
How did tourist demand change between 2014 and 2019?
From 2014 (the year Matera won the title of European Capital of Culture) to the actual realisation of the event in 2019, the “city of the Sassi” registered an extraordinary increase in the number of tourist arrivals and stays, with a significant growth in the number of international tourists, in addition to a substantial increase in “day tourists” (estimated in the evaluation study by City-O), as well as the figures on the extension of the average stay. The investigation conducted by Datacontact on a sample of tourists in Matera showed that the choice to visit the city was strongly influenced by the title of European Capital of Culture. The relation between this response and the increase in the average stay therefore proves that the events in the Matera 2019 cultural programme induced tourists to stay in the city longer, transforming visitors into “temporary citizens”.
Arrivals in Matera
Stays in Matera
International arrivals in Matera
International stays in Matera
Number of tourists in Matera in 2019
Arrivals in Matera
Total average stay, in days, in Matera
How important in the choice to visit Matera was the fact that it was the European Capital of Culture?
How the range of accommodations changed from 2014 to 2019
The increase in tourism linked to the title of European Capital of Culture produced a significant investment on the part of private concerns in the hospitality sector, registering a far greater increase in the figures relative to southern Italy, not just in Matera but also in the province and in the entire region of Basilicata, which therefore benefited from the pull-through effect generated by the city of the “Sassi”. Matera in particular witnessed a growth in the number of 5-star hotels but the greatest increase was in holiday rental homes.
City of Matera
Province of Matera
Number of 5-star bed-places
Number of 4-star bed-places
Holiday room rentals/vacation homes
Bed and Breakfast
Impact on GNP
The City-O study shows that tourist spending in 2019 as well as the value of real-estate investments for use by tourists in Matera during the years 2014-2019 had a multiplying effect, with significant impact on the city of Matera’s GNP.
Impact on tourism
Value of real-estate investments for tourist use in Matera
Young entrepreneurship, innovative startups, rate of new CCIs, employment
The study conducted by SRM highlights how in the cultural and creative field, closely connected to the experience of the European Capital of Culture, between 2015 and 2019 the number of businesses in the city of Matera grew at twice the national rate. For young enterprises, the positive rate of growth ran counter to the negative trend in southern Italy and the country in general. Innovative startups in 2019, the number of inhabitants being equal, were higher in proportion than the rest of Italy. Between 2015 and 2019, the SRM study also indicates, employment grew in general in the province of Matera, far exceeding the national rate.