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Taylor Swift could boost Europe’s economy more than America’s

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The American pop icon filled a blank space the world didn’t know it had with her soulful music. And although her songs are impactful, Swift is an economic tour de force, too. 

Her Eras Tour, which kicked off last year on the heels of a global pandemic, shattered records as the highest-grossing tour in history. Every city she performed at saw a boost in business, whether from retail, food and beverage, or hotel room sales. 

Swift’s influence is so profound that the Eras Tour generated $5 billion in consumer spending in the U.S. in just six months, Nomura estimates suggest. 

The singer is now applying her economic clout in Europe for this cruel summer—and experts think its benefits might exceed the U.S. leg of her tour. 

What makes Europe different for Swift?

Swift is doing over 50 shows, including in the U.K., Switzerland and Poland. 

While the timing and macroeconomic environments differ in each country compared to the U.S., Europe as a whole has some general advantages. 

“[Europe has] stronger public transportation networks than the U.S., and so it’s easier to get to the venue from a wider region. And so, we think that the impact is likely to be more spread out than just within that two-and-a-half mile radius,” Natalia Lechmanova, chief Europe economist at Mastercard Economics Institute, told Fortune.

That means people don’t necessarily have to be close to concert locations before attending, as they can bet on the efficient transport system to get them where they need to go. It also helps that Swift’s tour dates are peppered over the summer when people are already looking to travel. 

If that wasn’t reason enough, Swift is also set to perform new tracks from a double album she released last month in her upcoming shows. That bodes well for the pop star’s American fans, many of whom have flocked to Paris in higher numbers than for the Olympics to watch Swift perform. Others are traveling to different parts of Europe to catch a glimpse of their idol.  

Caroline Babinski, a 26-year-old based in New York, is flying to Zurich to attend one of Swift’s gigs in July. She caught two of Eras Tour shows in the States but that hasn’t stopped her from going for yet another—but this time, it’ll be in Europe. 

“It was much, much easier to book in Zurich. When I was trying to go to the U.S. shows I actually never got a pre-sale,” Babinski told Fortune, adding that tickets were also much cheaper compared to the show she went to in Philadelphia. 

Babinski said she spent roughly $1,500 on the trip to Zurich, where she will stay with and attend Swift’s concert with her sister. 

“I think it’s worth it,” she said. “The production of the show she’s doing right now is just unmatched.”

Taylor Swift singing on stage in Paris.

Kevin Mazur—TAS24/Getty Images/TAS Rights Management

‘So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames?’ 

Lechmanova identified the strong U.S. dollar and the increasing trend towards people spending on experiences rather than material goods as other factors driving American Swifties to Europe. 

Economies the world over have had a rough few years coping with interest rates. It’s taken a lot of work, but inflation has finally started to cool down in most major economies, even if it’s not as low as their central banks would like. 

However, the sudden demand for hotel rooms and food and beverage services leading up to significant concerts can fuel inflation fleetingly. It happened in Sweden last July, during the “Beyoncé blip,” when core inflation slowed less than expected during the month of the singer’s Renaissance tour shows in Stockholm.

Could that be a cause for concern in Europe with Swift’s Eras Tour? Unlikely, Lechmanova said. 

“It can lead to a blip on that day, but then it comes down. So when it comes to [the] impact on inflation trends in Europe, that is nothing to really rave about,” she said.     

While Swift’s concerts will slip away like a moment in time, they’ll have a more considerable impact in smaller cities than bigger ones, Nomura’s analysts wrote in a March note. The reason is that behemoths like London and Paris can absorb large numbers of additional visitors in a way that Liverpool, for example, cannot. 

In the U.K. alone, Barclays estimates a boost of £1 billion ($1.27 billion) for the economy, with concert ticket holders spending 12 times more than the average Brit does on a night out. Swifties are feeding the mania by splurging on concert-themed films and dressing up for the artist’s different “eras.” 

A more localized impact can also be seen in Ireland, where Swift has three gigs lined up in June, George Moran, European economist at Nomura, told Fortune. 

Still, there’s a risk of overestimating the economic impact, he warns. 

“U.S. cities and their placement of large stadiums can be very different from the international cities Taylor Swift will visit in 2024,” Moran said, adding that any effects, as seen from the Beyoncé blip in Sweden, are more sector-based (such as in hospitality) rather than having a notable impact at a macroeconomic level.   

“If the effect was not visible in a small economy like Sweden, it is very unlikely to have a sizable effect on larger economies,” he said. 

In any case, Europe has already rolled out the red carpet for Swift and her string of performances through to August. 

With fans swarming her at different venues, waiting with bated breath to watch her live, it looks like Swift already owns the summer. 

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