As a social asset, the Sydney Opera House has been valued at a remarkable $6.2 billion in Deloitte’s latest report on the iconic venue’s cultural, social and digital worth. This figure represents a substantial 24 percent increase on 2013’s estimate, which declared the landmark to be worth $4.6 billion. This significant growth has been attributed to factors including the growing number of international visitors, increased patronage, enhanced tour and performance experience, building renewal works, consumption of digital content and a possible wider appreciation of the arts in Australia.

The newly released report, Revaluing Our Icon – Midpoint in Sydney Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, has also recorded a 44 percent increase in the Opera House’s economic value, finding that its yearly economic contribution now rests at $1.2 billion compared to 2013’s $775 million.

It also found that the Opera House welcomed 10.9 million guests annually, a 33 percent increase on 2013’s figures. Of this number, approximately 2.9 million were international tourists, a growth of 46 percent since 2013. What’s more, the total value of consumer transactions within the precinct has grown almost 50 percent, up to $219 million in 2017, and digital engagement has grown over 400 percent since 2013 and is now worth $12.5 million per year.

“I’m most pleased that the fact our focus on new programming, on ensuring we are relevant to the community, on ensuring that our digital program is alive and well, and that our investment in the physical works is paying dividends and people really appreciate what we’re doing,” said Opera House CEO Louise Herron.

One of the authors of the report and Deloitte partner John O’Mahony has described the growth as ‘huge’. “We can assure Australians the brand value is incredibly high and remains up there with the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China as one of the world’s most recognised buildings.” Ninety-three percent of international visitors surveyed in the report said that the Opera House was a consideration in their decision to visit Sydney.

However, the report also emphasised the importance of addressing ageing infrastructure, capacity constraints and security so as to ensure the Opera House’s value does not plateau.

A final Deloitte report is due on the Opera House’s 50th anniversary. The venue is currently in the middle of a state government funded, $228 million renewal project to be completed by 2022.


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