EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE - THE NUMBERS

21/03/2020

As we know, Nova Gorica (first of all) and Gorizia presented a joint candidacy for European Capital of Culture for the year 2025. If the choice fell on the two cities, the latter would bring great economic as well as, of course, cultural benefits.

The European Union has been promoting this project since 1985, with the idea of unifying the Old Continent not only from an economic point of view but also from a cultural one. This initiative promotes economic growth, solidifies the sense of community, the development of European connections, and regenerates cities from a cultural, infrastructural and economic point of view. So, let us say it firmly, with the culture we eat, contrary to what some politicians claimed, among them the former Minister for the Treasury...

The candidacy would bring to the towns of Gorizia and Nova Gorica large initial financial revenues, together with further revenues from the tourism. The data on tourism are not only mere hypotheses, as all the analyses on the previous editions of the "European City of Culture - European Capital of Culture (ECOC)", confirm a very important increase in the number of tourists in the reference period. In the subsequent analysis, we take our inspiration from two cities close to us, Maribor (2012) and Linz (2009), in Slovenia and Austria respectively.

Maribor in particular recorded a 36% increase in the number of presences in just one year, especially foreign ones. Same story for Linz, which registered a 10% increase on an annual basis. This figure, certainly not as positive, is, however, justifiable by the fact that the event took place at the height of the crisis in 2009, without which the data on tourism would easily have been negative.

Clearly, to be able to meet the costs, cities benefited from significant national and European funding. For example, Maribor managed to attract a total of 28 million euros, while Linz managed to attract almost 70 million euros just for the costs of the events themselves - the cultural package promoted. To these, however, must be added further investment in infrastructure to cope with an important influx of tourists, investments that take the bar of the total amount much higher. The record here goes to Liverpool, that given this event, spent more than one billion Pounds, something impossible in Gorizia and Nova Gorica. Besides, another study promoted by the European Commission indicates that some cities, Marseille-Avignon in primis, managed to record a return on investment of eleven times larger, Maribor instead stood at four. We hope, in case, to do at least as much, but honestly, we hope for more.

We must, however, dispel the myth that all but all economic subsidies come from the European Union. Most of this money comes from national and private bodies, while only a smaller part comes from the European Union, something that should encourage us to roll up our sleeves and start working together. In this case, we have to promote the Gorizia brand that groups all the excellence of Gorizia under a single guide, a guide that would give Gorizia (and NG certainly) many more chances of success. Of course, to obtain excellent results, the general level of the organization must be combined with an important cultural offer. As already specified in a previous post, there are some proposals that, in our opinion, are quite lacking.

Gorizia with its hinterland holds a very important cultural and enogastronomic heritage, let's enhance it, let's create the Gorizia brand that combines all these cultural and enogastronomic gems of Gorizia. Let's say no more of the impossible proposals, let's remain concrete, let's enhance what already exists and so let's send a clear signal to Europe that Gorizia still exists!

Good luck Go&NGo2025,



Martin Novak - Gorizia3.0