Economic impact from SXSW 2019 shows how much Austin stands to lose amid cancellation

On Friday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced that SXSW 2020 has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Many in the community have voiced concerns over the spread of the virus, but with the cancellation confirmed, now many are wondering about the financial consequences the City and Austin-area business owners stand to face. 

According to a press release from SXSW and Greyhill Advisors, in 2019, SXSW brought over $300 million to the city and surrounding area businesses. "The 2019 event delivered the greatest economic impact to Austin, Texas's business and residents in its 33-year history. SXSW's 2019 impact on the Austin economy totaled $335.9 million," said the release. 


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The 2019 press release noted that SXSW remained the single most profitable event for the City's hospitality industry. Now with SXSW canceled, many in the hospitality industry stand to lose money. According to the release, direct bookings alone raised over $1.9 million dollars for area hotels The official attendance impact of attendees visiting Austin for SXSW 2019 came to $182.1 million. 

Those working for SXSW also stand to lose money. In 2019, SXSW operational impact on the city raised around $157.1 million. "The scale and complexity of SXSW requires year-round operations. SXSW maintains a sizable staff of full-time, temporary and seasonal workers," the press release said. 

An additional $16.7 million was made by consumers at the 2019 SXSW event, money that was spent by SXSW guests on consumer goods and parties, all of which have been canceled for 2020.