Edinburgh's tourism businesses get inside track on city’s planned Hogmanay and Christmas Festivals

Wednesday 24, October 2012


Edinburgh's tourism businesses get inside track on city’s planned Hogmanay and Christmas Festivals


Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the biggest New Year Festival in the world and, together with Edinburgh's Christmas, forms a programme of winter events that draw visitors from around the world.


Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), in conjunction with the organisers of the Winter Festivals programme, hosted a business briefing to outline key elements of the programme to Edinburgh businesses and how they can link in with and benefit from the 2012-13 Hogmanay and Christmas programme. The winter festival programme will run from 29 November to 6 January 2013. 


Although full details of the exciting new programme will be kept under wraps until the public launch of the Christmas and Hogmanay event on 31 October, the organiser, Nickie Gott of She’s Gott It, says they are keen to engage with the city’s business community as soon as possible. 


“This year firm favourites such as the German Market and Santa’s Fun Run will be enhanced by innovative bespoke activities, with an added twist, that have been specially designed for Edinburgh.  These new events will provide an additional boost to these already popular experiences while at the same time giving businesses increased opportunities to become involved.”

Whilst not giving much away before the official launch, Ms Gott said there will be more openings for corporate hospitality, sponsorship opportunities and entertaining packages for staff, plus the commercial benefit of increased number of artists and visitors staying which will be of benefit to accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs, transport companies and other visitor-facing services. 


2012-13 will be Edinburgh’s 20th official Hogmanay festival and street party. Alan Thomson, Communications Manager at Unique Events, responsible for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations commented: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has a deserved reputation as one of the best parties in the world. This year is themed Lucky 13 and we are thrilled with how the final programme is shaping up. There are some exciting developments including a new Edinburgh Hogmanay App and expanded fireworks programme, but all will be revealed on 13 November when we officially launch.” 


Tickets for all six of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay planned events, taking place from 30 December to 1 January are already selling well.  Last year, 63% of the 130,000 people that attended Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events were from outwith Scotland, with the majority of visitors staying in the city for an average of two or three nights and generating an estimated £29 million. 


Development of the winter product is one of the Strategic Priorities for Action identified in Edinburgh 2020: the Edinburgh Tourism Strategy. The aim is to fill under-used capacity across the city’s attractions, entertainment venues, winter festivals, restaurants and bars, as well as transport and accommodation by growing demand, particularly during the period October to April.  


Chair of ETAG, Robin Worsnop, commented: “We are extremely pleased to see the development of the winter festivals event, both in terms of the level of activities proposed for this year and the extension of the event across the city. 


“The winter festivals are the highlight of the winter season, but Edinburgh also has a huge offer for visitors throughout the shoulder months with fantastic products like the Storytelling Festival and the Science Festival, as well as a great range of exhibitions, theatre product and local events.  It is essential that we work with the local business community to fully communicate and exploit these opportunities to attract new visitors to the city and encourage regular visitors to come back and try new experiences outwith the summer months. 


“This exciting and revamped programme will be a tremendous boost to Edinburgh’s reputation as a world-class winter location and provide a terrific platform for many organisations to get involved. I hope that not only businesses such as hotels andrestaurants will seize this opportunity, but also businesses in other sectors which will benefit from an extended winter season and an increased number of visitors to the city in December and January.” 


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