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How do you value an icon?

The Sydney Opera House: economic, cultural and digital value


Australians agree that the Sydney Opera House is a national icon, but what is it worth to them?  Quite a lot, actually.


A new Deloitte report assesses the economic, cultural, brand and digital value of the Sydney Opera House.

“As we reflect on the past 40 years, this report demonstrates that the Opera House’s consumer value, digital footprint and brand perception provide it with a huge opportunity to build on its existing strengths and capitalise on vast new local and international audiences over the next 40 years and beyond,” said Louise Herron, Sydney Opera House CEO.

This report considers the direct and indirect financial value the Sydney Opera House adds to the economy, it’s iconic and experiential value to local and international visitors, perceived value amongst key audiences and the value of its digital footprint – now and into the future.

As part of the Deloitte report,  over 3,000 Australian and international residents were surveyed by Deloitte Access Economics and Stancombe Research & Planning to assist in measuring the Opera House’s contribution to national identity and its broader cultural and iconic value.

The report’s key findings indicate that the Sydney Opera House provides significant benefits to the Australian economy, that Australians place a high value on the Sydney Opera House, and that its impact is likely to grow in the future.

Key findings

  • The Sydney Opera House is estimated to be worth $4.6 billion to Australia
  • The Sydney Opera House is estimated to contribute $775 million to the Australian economy each year, and to support 8,439 full-time equivalent jobs, directly and indirectly
  • In 2011/12 alone, the venue attracted nearly 1.4 million people to more than 1,800 performances
  • More than half of surveyed tourists from China, the U.S., UK and New Zealand said the Sydney Opera House was their main reason for visiting the city
  • Australians view a visit to the Opera House as being more valuable than the cost of the ticket for the performance they attend; in fact a person attending an Opera House performance values the experience of being there 38% more than attending the same performance elsewhere.
  • A total of 77% of Australian residents believe the Sydney Opera House makes a significant contribution to Australia’s unique culture, and even Australians who do not use the its services were willing to pay a small but significant premium for its maintenance in place of an equivalent tax cut (current state funding levels for the Sydney Opera House are $6.20 per person per year.)
  • Early adopters and innovators over 40 years of age considered the Sydney Opera House as the most distinctive brand in Australia, while internationally it was considered more relevant and esteemed overall even than Australia’s national brand
  • The Sydney Opera House has an online digital reach of 128 million people (93% from Facebook), and digital visitation has increased by a compound annual growth rate of 28% in the three years from June 2010 and June 2013
  • Future viewings of online performances could grow to 94 million a year.

Would you like to know more?

Register to receive your copy of the report


Ric Simes

Ric Simes
Partner, Deloitte Access Economics
Tel: +61 2 9322 7772 | Email

John O'Mahoney John O'Mahony
Director, Deloitte Access Economics
Tel: +61 2 9322 7877 | Email
Frank Farrall Frank Farrall
National Leader, Deloitte Digital
Tel: +61 3 9671 6562 | Email
Kate Huggins Kate Huggins
Partner, Deloitte Digital
Tel: +61 2 9322 5452 | Email
David Redhill David Redhill
Partner and Chief Marketing Officer
Tel: +61 2 9322 7891 | Email


Would you like to know more?

Register to receive your copy of the report

View our infographic

Economic contribution of the Sydney Opera House     Brands are made in the mind

Audience and cultural value     Digital footpring and future potential


Related links

  • Sydney Opera House worth $4.6b to Australia
    Media release, 17 October 2013 | 4 pages
  • Building the lucky country
    Positioning for prosperity? The $250 billion dollar question
  • Deloitte Access Economics
    Thought. Leaders.
  • Deloitte Consulting
    Strategy and implementation
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Ideas At The House


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