Sydney Opera House - The $4.6billion National Treasure

By Vikas Rana

The Sydney Opera House is one of our greatest national treasures. While it is undoubtedly priceless to all Australians, in a recent report commissioned for its 40th anniversary celebrations, financial services firm Deloitte has come up with a number to indicate how highly we value it.

The report puts the value of the iconic structure at $4.6 billion. This figure includes both direct economic contributions such as those from ticket sales and food outlets as well as a host of other indirect value estimates including brand recognition and digital presence.

In the last year alone, the Opera House added $141 million into Australia’s economy through its performances and events as well as sales at the site’s bars, shops and restaurants. This was further supplemented by an additional $113 million from its supply chains in other sectors. Along with these, another major source of its contribution to the economy was through tourism revenue. Factoring in its impact in attracting tourists to the country, Deloitte estimated the total value added by it to be $775 million a year.

Indirect Contributions

Beyond its direct contribution to the economy, the Sydney Opera House holds great cultural value both here and abroad. And so the final value estimate also included results from a survey conducted among 2,500 Australians and more than 600 international residents, aiming to place a value on the experiential and cultural significance of the historic building. The study found that the venue and performances were worth 38% more than the ticket prices for a total of $125 million annually. Additionally, its non-use values, those that are not associated with ticket sales, were estimated to be around $2.1 billion over a 40-year period.

Brand Value

Interestingly, the survey also found that internationally, the Opera House has a greater brand value than Australia itself, further highlighting its attractiveness to tourists. More than half of those surveyed stated it as their main reason for visiting Australia. At home too, 77 % of Australians believed it made a significant contribution to Australian culture.

Digital Potential

The report also looked at its digital potential and found that it had an online reach of 128 million, 93% of which came through Facebook. With a major focus on expanding digital presence, the institute also created 600 pieces of video content including exclusive interviews, live and recorded events and behind-the-scenes footage. Future viewings of online performances could grow up to 94 million a year further signifying the scope for a much larger digital footprint

With these numbers it is easy to see how such iconic structures can continue contributing fruitfully to a nation’s economy despite the high costs and the daunting and complex process involved in building them initially. The management also hope to use the report to press for greater allocation of federal and state budgets for the site’s maintenance and renewal.