Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh festivals attendances similar to World Cup

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Media captionEdinburgh's festivals were worth £313m to the Scottish economy in 2015

Edinburgh's festivals attracted combined audiences of more than 4.5 million in 2015, putting them on par with attendances at the Fifa World Cup.

The number of people who attended was second only to the Olympic Games.

The Edinburgh Festivals 2015 Impact Survey found the festivals generated £280m for Edinburgh and £313m for Scotland - an increase of 19% and 24% on the previous 2010 study.

The latest research surveyed 29,000 people.

Commissioned by Edinburgh's Festivals, the 2015 Impact Study was produced by BOP Consulting.

Its findings included:

  • Almost 90% of locals said the festivals increased their pride in the city
  • 92% of people in the survey said the festivals were "must see" events that gave them the chance to see things they would not otherwise see
  • 68% of people surveyed said attending the festivals made them more likely to attend another cultural event

Research for the study started with the Edinburgh International Science Festival and concluded at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.

Richard Naylor, the director of research at BOP consulting, said: "The scale of the 2015 Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study makes it one of the most statistically significant studies in the cultural world and the results continue to show that Edinburgh's festivals have an impact commensurate to their world-leading festival city status."

Festivals Edinburgh director Julia Amour said: "The impact study tells us that the festivals' unique resilience and the increasing value they deliver is based on the artistic vision, ambition and programmes of the individual festivals.

"Continued investment in these programmes is crucial to driving our impacts and ensuring that our distinctive cultural offering remains the envy of cities around the world."

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead, added: "The study underlines the immense importance of Edinburgh's Festivals to Scottish tourism.

"While people are drawn to our amazing capital for the music, the comedy and the performing arts, the visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country - from laundry services to life sciences - generating an incredible £313m for the national economy.

"The festivals are a real jewel in our tourism crown and it's their incredible international reputation that draws millions from around the world each year to experience the dynamic delights of the city."

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