Even with traffic on the 405, it probably would have taken at most three hours for Victoria Pardo Uzitas to drive from her home in San Diego to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to see a performance of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Instead, she and her teenage daughter crossed the border to Tijuana, flew to Mexico City, enjoyed classic tacos al pastor and churros, saw a Frida Kahlo masterpiece at the Museo de Arte Moderno, and yes, saw Taylor Swift.
“Tickets in Los Angeles were $1,900 each,” Ms. Uzitas said of the marked-up prices. “That’s more than we spent on our flights, our hotel and all our food. Our entire trip was less than $1,900.”
Ms. Uzitas is not the only Swiftie turning a concert by her favorite artist into an international getaway. And Mexico is certainly not alone in reaping the economic benefits. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the likely economic impact of the 20 domestic stops of Ms. Swift’s tour has already exceeded $10 billion. In Los Angeles alone, Ms. Swift’s six nights of concerts added 3,300 jobs and earned the city $29 million in sales and hotel room taxes, according to U.S. Travel.
Now with the tour — which began in March and concludes in November of next year — going on to 26 international destinations, the overseas tourism market is cashing in.
Hotel prices across Europe are surging on the nights Ms. Swift comes to town. Contiki, a youth-focused travel agency, is offering five different trips that nod to the singer, including a tour of Paris “for your European love story.” The agency also offers a discount of 13 percent — a reference to Ms. Swift’s self-proclaimed lucky number — on any European trip longer than 14 days. Air New Zealand has already added 2,000 seats to accommodate what it calls the Swift Surge, fans flying to Australia for February dates. (A tip of the hat to whichever executive thought of the flight code NZ1989.)
Traveling to see a beloved performer is nothing new. Fan have flown to see U2, parked R.V.s outside Phish and Grateful Dead shows, and spent top dollar to see Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. Now for Ms. Swift’s Eras Tour, there is no incentive needed for many fans other than being able to score a more affordable ticket in a vacation-worthy destination.
“I’m so excited to see the differences in another country,” said Lois Alter Mark, a writer who is parlaying her $400 Edinburgh concert ticket into a Scottish sojourn. “I want to see how you translate all that…