Deloitte got their calculators out and put a dollar value on The Colosseum of Rome, the largest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire, the largest standing amphitheater in the world today, and top Italian tourist destination. Despite listening to Tiziano Ferro for 20 years, my Italian sucks so here’s Google’s translation of the newly released report:
The Colosseum contributes 1.4 billion euros per year to the Italian economy (in terms of contribution to GDP) as a tourist-cultural attraction and has a social value of approximately 77 billion euros (US$78 billion). It represents not only the most famous symbol of Rome and the most visited monument in our country but an icon of global interest. In 2019 alone, over 7 million people from all over the world visited the Colosseum. Its value is not only economic but above all social.
“The Colosseum is a significant source of value for Rome, Italy and for humanity,” said Marco Vulpiani, Partner and head of the Valuation, Modeling & Economic Advisory for Deloitte Central Mediterranean (member firms of Italy, Greece and Malta). “It is clear that since it is a non-alienable asset, we are talking about a non-transferable value, even if it exists and is significant.” The study “The value of an Iconic Asset. The economic and social value of the Colosseum” was conducted by the Italian Economic Advisory team, specialized in economic-social value and impact analysis.
To quantify a historical icon like the Colosseum, Deloitte analyzed and quantified various values: its contribution to the Italian economy from operations and tourism, the indirect use value (the “hedonic” value represented by the pleasure of the mere proximity and view of a unique and magnificent iconic work) and the social value of Colosseum, intended primarily as the value that its existence represents for society. “For an iconic asset like the Colosseum it is necessary to refer to a dimension of value that includes both material and immaterial value. In this sense, the intangible value of the Colosseum can be greater than the value associated with the economic benefits it can produce. In fact, the advantages external to the market economy must also be taken into consideration,” the report said.
“In evaluating such an important iconic asset of the world cultural heritage, one cannot limit oneself to considering only the financial benefits that this can produce, but also the value connected to the importance that society recognizes in the existence of the asset,” it says.
One figure taken into account was the community’s so-called “Willingness to Pay.” The firm conducted a survey to find out how important preserving the Colosseum is to Italians. 97 percent of those surveyed considered its existence very important or important. 87 percent believe the Colosseum represents Italy’s most important cultural attraction; 92 percent agree that the Colosseum must be preserved. More than half of respondents consider the Colosseum as the main factor in the decision to visit Rome. Finally, about 30 percent of respondents believe that only Italians should pay for the conservation of the Colosseum while the remaining 70 percent think visitors and everyone in the world should contribute to the preservation of the Colosseum, confirming the globally recognized value of this iconic asset.
Through the Contingent Valuation Method, which is based on the Willingness To Pay detected by the survey conducted, an existence value of 75.7 billion euros was estimated, which added to the value connected to the revenues generated by it (the so-called economic value of transaction) of 1.1 billion euros, leading to a total value of the Colosseum as a social asset of 76.8 billion euros.
The value of an Iconic Asset. The economic and social value of the Colosseum [Deloitte]