British Columbia

Taylor Swift expected to bring 'significant' economic boon to Vancouver

Vancouver is expecting an economic boon from Taylor Swift's 2024 concert dates.

Vancouver to host three Taylor Swift concert dates for eager fans in December 2024

Taylor Swift tossing her long blond hair to one side, while performing with a mic in black sequinned outfit on stage.
Taylor Swift performs on the opening night of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour at State Farm Stadium on March 17 in Swift City, Arizona. ( Kevin Winter/TAS Rights Management/Getty Images)

When Taylor Swift announced Thursday she was bringing her mega-successful Eras tour to Vancouver's B.C. Place for three concert dates next December, super-fan Emily Evans immediately went online to book a hotel room. 

But then the 27-year-old Prince George, B.C., resident discovered in a panic that rooms for the entire Dec. 6, 2024, weekend were already booked when she picked up the phone.

"It's so brutal. I think I called 15 hotels yesterday and 12 were fully booked," she said, adding another three weren't taking reservations more than 12 months out.

"It's crazy that so many people are already booking hotels when we don't even have tickets," she said.

When CBC News called hotels in downtown Vancouver, some said they are accepting reservations or are fully booked for the concert weekend.

But many hotels, including major chains such as the Fairmont, Marriott, Hyatt and Holiday Inn, do not accept booking requests more than a year in advance. 

Taylor Swift performs during her 1989 World Tour in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, August 1, 2015.
Taylor Swift is shown performing during her 1989 World Tour in Vancouver on Aug. 1, 2015. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The concerts are slated for Dec. 6, 7 and 8, 2024, at B.C. Place.

Swift began her tour earlier this year, performing songs from her chart-topping career against the backdrop of an elaborate stage design for each album. 

Canada was initially left off the tour schedule, but Swift announced this summer that she would head to Toronto for six dates in November 2024.

The economic impact that's rippled through host cities of Swift's mega-concert is palpable. And Downtown Van, the city's business improvement association, said it's expecting the same success in Vancouver. 

"The tour's opening night in Arizona brought in more revenue for local businesses than the Superbowl," said Downtown Van CEO Jane Talbot. 

"She's here for three nights. We expect the economic impact to be significant and we expect it to be really fun and really good for downtown Vancouver."

The online research group QuestionPro crunched the numbers and found the Eras Tour will generate billions of dollars in economic activity in the U.S. alone. It said the average concertgoer was spending about US$1,300 per show.

It's not clear what the financial spinoff effect of Swift's performances in Vancouver will be just yet, but one University of Toronto business professor estimated Swift's six-concert run in that city would generate as much as $700 million for the city, as fans book hotels, eat at restaurants and shop.

WATCH | Swiftonomics and the potential Vancouver impact: 

Will Taylor Swift boost Vancouver's economy?

4 months ago
Duration 6:26
Taylor Swift is coming to Vancouver, with predictions of an economic boom as people pour into the city. But how much of the so-called Swift effect is real, and how much is hype?

'Stressful,' confusing process

Tickets for the three Vancouver dates go on sale starting Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. PT.

And in order to purchase a ticket, concert hopefuls will need a code — and to do that, they first need to be registered as a "verified fan." 

But not everyone who registers receives a code, and scoring a ticket is a lengthy, competitive process that has been described by some Swifties as winning a lottery.

"It's stressful trying to find tickets and a hotel, but the payoff is worth it," said Evans. "It's once in a lifetime." 

Downtown Van's CEO underscores the need for would-be concertgoers to start searching for hotel rooms now, and to manage their expectations.

"We reasonably have to expect that people will have to book hotel rooms in outlying areas, which is unfortunate," Talbot said.

Evans said she managed to snag the last available room for the December 2024 concert weekend at Hotel Belmont in downtown Vancouver.  And her fingers are crossed that the same luck will translate into getting her hands on some concert tickets too.

Corrections

  • The original headline on this story implied that hotel rooms were already sold out. In fact, some hotels are sold out for the Dec. 6, 2024 weekend, and some major hotel chains do not accept bookings more than 12 months out.
    Nov 09, 2023 1:32 PM PT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cathy Kearney is a digital journalist with CBC News Vancouver.

With files from Bridgette Watson

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