Can Cyprus conquer Europe?
Cyprus remain anong the favorites to win this year’s Eurovision song contest in Lisbon but could it be at last Cyprus’s year? And after…what happens?
According to the telegraph the country hosting the Eurovision song contest does not come cheap.
A team of economists have calculated how much money each of the last four host cities have spent on the singing competition and can now reveal that they forked out a combined total of £129m.
The city of Baku, in Azerbaijan, which hosted the contest in 2012, has been the biggest spender in recent years with a total hosting cost of £48m after building the brand new Baku Crystal Hall specifically for the event.
That was offset by tourism spending of just £7m, but did lead to the creation of 529 full-time jobs.
A year later, Malmo in Sweden kept costs down to £17m, and recouped £16m of that through tourism spending as 32,000 people made their way to the city.
In 2014, the Danish capital Copenhagen spent £36m and received £13 in tourism spending, while last year’s hosts Vienna paid £28m and received £22m thanks an influx of 32,000 tourists.
It comes as SVT, Sweden’s national broadcaster, set aside a budget of £11m for the privilege of hosting this year’s acts such as British hopefuls Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft.
The Natwest economists have calculated that, for that money, the broadcaster could instead buy five years worth of the Great British Bake Off, three episodes of The X Factor, three and a half episodes of the Night Manager, a single Premier League match next season or 3.7 million copies of Abba’s Waterloo on vinyl.
So it is worth it? The economists write: “It’s hard to be conclusive. Every host city has seen a modest boost in short-term tourism and in their local economy.
“The longer-term benefits are harder to estimate but with over 180 million viewers worldwide, the international, positive exposure that comes as part of hosting is likely to dramatically increase tourism-related revenue.
“Plus, there’s the kudos of winning, and in some eyes that’s just as important.” But will it be Cyprus this year? We will find out on Saturday.