Massive economic impact, huge tourism and promotional benefits and significant contributions to local and national identity and pride are all key findings from independent research which describes and quantifies the effect of Edinburgh’s year-round Festivals – including the Fringe - on locals, visitors, young people, artists, the economy and the environment.

The largest programme of research ever undertaken into Edinburgh’s twelve major Festivals, comprising 15,000 survey responses over a twelve month period, not only reaffirms Edinburgh’s position as the world’s Festival City but articulates, for the first time, the contribution the Festivals make to the social, cultural and civic life of Scotland and its capital city. It also highlighted the inter-dependence of Edinburgh’s festivals whilst recognising the scale of the contribution made by the Fringe.

The Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study, announced today, includes the following key findings:

  • The Festivals generated over a quarter of a billion pounds worth of additional tourism revenue for Scotland (£261m) in 2010. The economic impact figure for Edinburgh is £245m. The Fringe alone contributed a staggering £142 million of this.
  • The Festivals play a starring role in the profile of the city and its tourism economy, with 93% of visitors stating that the Festivals are part of what makes Edinburgh special as a city, 82% agreeing that the Festivals make them more likely to revisit Edinburgh in the future and 82% stating that the Festivals were their sole or an important reason for coming to Scotland.
  • 85% of all respondents agree that the Festivals promote a confident, positive Scottish national identity; and 89% of Edinburgh respondents say that the Festivals increase local pride in their home city.
  • The Festivals encourage and widen access to the arts, with 77% of audiences saying that the Festivals had enabled them to discover new talent and genres, and nearly two-thirds saying that the Festivals encourage them to take risks and see less well-known performances, events or films.
  • 93% of parents agreed that attending Festival events as a family increased their child’s imagination.

Kath M Mainland, the Chief Executive of the Festival Fringe Society is also Chair of Festivals Edinburgh, and speaking at the launch of the Impact Study said:

"This substantial new report firmly establishes Edinburgh as the world’s leading Festival city, and provides clear evidence that the most attractive aspect of the festivals for our audiences is the quality, range and diversity of what we offer. The combination of our distinctive world class festivals is key to attracting both local and visiting audiences. Without this unique offering the festivals would not make the much-envied economic, cultural and social contribution to Edinburgh and Scotland that we currently do."

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Published 24 May 2011