Skip to main content

Simply the Fest

Press Release   •   Aug 08, 2015 09:55 BST

As the Edinburgh Festivals get into full swing this weekend (8-9 August), VisitScotland is celebrating the impact the annual showcase of the best of music, arts and culture has on the tourism industry.

Latest statistics reveal that domestic visitor numbers to Scotland’s capital increase by two thirds during peak festival season.

On average, 290,000 domestic visitor trips are made to Edinburgh in August compared with 186,000 in July with overnight domestic visitors boosting the economy by £73 million.

International visitors also make an average of 174,000 holiday trips to Edinburgh and the Lothians in August, contributing £63 million in expenditure.

The national tourism organisation has produced a free Edinburgh Festivals Survival Guide 2015 to ensure visitors and residents enjoy all the capital city has to offer during its busiest month of the year. From shows to see, to food to eat, to information on how to “do the festivals on a budget”, the guide is available to download at

In August, the capital plays host to the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh Mela, Edinburgh Art Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Collectively, Edinburgh's Festivals are a world-leading cultural brand and represent 12 festivals throughout the year. They are recognised as signature events in the national events strategy which attract an audience of more than 4.2 million and are worth £261 million to Scotland’s economy (£245 million to the local economy).

Edinburgh’s Festivals peak during August, when more than 25,000 artists, entertainers and thinkers populate the city with over 1,000 shows per day.

Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“The Scottish capital comes alive in August which is why, time and time again, visitors flock to the city in their thousands, boosting the local and national economy.

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, supporting communities and creating jobs, and Edinburgh’s Festivals are a major part of that.

“Edinburgh’s international reputation as a festival city, with a range of dynamic festivals presenting ground breaking programmes continues to inspire visitors from across the UK. From the Tattoo to the International Festival to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, there is something to suit to all tastes, all year round.”

To download VisitScotland’s Free Edinburgh Festivals Survival Guide 2015, visit:

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
    • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit