The economic impact of pilgrimage: An economic impact analysis of pilgrimage expenditures in Galicia

Graave, Elisabeth J.E.; Klijs, J.; Heijman, W.J.M.


In this article, we calculate the economic impact of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in the NUTS 2 region Galicia (Spain) in 2010. This economic impact is relevant to policymakers and other stakeholders dealing with religious tourism in Galicia. The analysis is based on the Input-Output model. Location Quotient formulas are used to derive the regional Input-Output table from the national Input-Output table of Spain. Both the Simple Location Quotient formula and Flegg’s Location Quotient formula are applied. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is carried out. We found that pilgrimage expenditures in 2010 created between €59.750 million and €99.575 million in Gross Value Added and between 1,362 and 2,162 jobs. Most of the impact is generated within the ‘Retail and Travel Services’ industry, but also the ‘Industry and Manufacturing’, ‘Services’ and ‘Financial and Real Estate Services’ industries benefit from pilgrimage expenditures. This research indicates that in even in the most conservative scenario, the impact of pilgrimage is significant on the local economy of Galicia.