The economic benefit of the Edinburgh Festivals to be examined by MSPs


As thousands of visitors descend upon Edinburgh for the summer Festivals, the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will examine the economic benefit of one of the biggest cultural events in the world.

MSPs will investigate the issue during a one-off session on Wednesday 20 August.

The Committee will be looking to explore the economic impact of the Festivals for Edinburgh and the wider parts of Scotland, the significant cultural and social benefits they generate, and what more can be done to increase the attractiveness of Scotland to international visitors through future development of the Festivals’ world-leading cultural brand.

The Committee will question the following witnesses:  

  • Faith Liddell, Director, Festivals Edinburgh
  • Lady Susan Rice CBE, Managing Director, Lloyds Banking Group [Scotland] and Chair of Edinburgh’s Festivals Forum
  • Kath Mainland, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
  • Amy Saunders, Senior Adviser, International, Creative New Zealand  
  • Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“The Edinburgh Festivals are firmly established as some of the most creative and innovative Festivals anywhere in the world, attracting thousands of people to Edinburgh and Scotland every year.

“Our Committee will be asking how businesses in Edinburgh and across Scotland can realise the maximum economic benefit from hosting this artistic spectacle but also examining how our tourism industry responds to the challenge of the demands placed on it during August.”

Faith Liddell, Director, Festivals Edinburgh said: 

“Edinburgh’s Festivals are Scotland’s world-class cultural brands with an international reputation and appeal unmatched by any other cultural events on the globe. We are distinctively Scottish and yet profoundly international, drawing artists, audiences and media from every continent and over 70 countries each year.

“The Festivals are economic powerhouses, cultural platforms, forums for national and international debate, drivers of ambition and creators of cohesion. We are committed to capitalising on our enormous global value for the benefit of Scotland and look forward to working with the Committee to further examine our role.”


Festivals Edinburgh will also host an evening reception for members of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on Tuesday 19 August.

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