V18 had an economic impact exceeding €325 million and generated €678 million worth of investment in the Maltese economy, the study found. In addition, GDP grew by 2.23 per cent in 2018.
According to the report, published by the Valletta Cultural Agency, the city recorded a rise in the number of visiting tourists following effective marketing efforts carried out by the Valletta 2018 Foundation with the collaboration of other entities. Visitors to the capital increased by more than 350,000 tourists in 2018, reaching a total of 2.6 million tourists during the European Capital of Culture year.
The study found that 8,000 jobs were created in different sectors including creativity, hospitality, heritage, information technology services and transport, including ferry connections.
In addition, the event brought about significant infrastructural regeneration in the city, including the opening of MUŻA - the museum for art and the community, the regeneration of Triton Square, Strait Street and the old indoor market as well as the restoration of Palazzo Ferreria and the facade of the Jesuit church, among other buildings.
The Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, José Herrera said the findings bode well and showed how the cultural sector could truly have a positive impact and be a legacy for the country.
The notion of ‘co-creation’ and the involvement of community members and the public in the European Capital of Culture’s Cultural Programme, which was strongly emphasised by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, reaped an unprecedented public awareness of the cultural sector and a largely widened cultural fabric, Valletta Cultural Agency chairman Jason Micallef said.