It is safe to say that Edinburgh’s tourist Industry is as strong as it has ever been. As regular readers of our blog will know, there are festivals throughout the year, dining spots galore and a rich history that competes with any of Europe’s finest cities.
In a recent survey by Visit Britain it was found that Edinburgh is second only to London in the number of overseas visitors each year. In 2015 the number of tourists reached 1.5 million, helping to keep the capital’s economy booming.
The 2012 Scottish tourist reports suggests that the majority of the £1.4 billion spent by overseas tourists whilst visiting Scotland came from US visitors, who spent £274m. Second on the list were German tourists who reached into their pocket to the tune of £143m. Almost £600m of the total cash generated by International tourists was spent in the Edinburgh area alone. Hotel occupancy in Edinburgh in 2012 was almost at peak capacity with 90% of vacancies filled in August and September 2012.
But why is this the case? Here is a brief look at just some of the reasons Edinburgh continues to be so popular with overseas tourists each year.
It is no wonder Edinburgh is so charming for overseas visitors. Its stunning mix of architecture includes medieval tenements, the Old Town and its cobbled wynds; not to mention the Georgian era buildings of New Town. There is plenty of historical charm when it comes to this holiday destination making it an ideal city break to learn more about Scottish heritage. And Edinburgh Castle is hardly considered an eye sore, either.
Edinburgh’s compact size also makes it the perfect European destination to enjoy. It is easy to travel by bus, taxi or on foot, with attractions like the Royal Mile with all its courtyards, cobbles and wynds stretching all the way up to the Castle. Although there may be a few hills to negotiate here and there, the stunning views that Edinburgh has to offer makes it more than worthwhile to put the calves and quads to good use and head for the high ground. And, of course, once you have grabbed a few holiday snaps with friends and family, the reward for heading back down the hillside is a wide choice of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars. Indeed, the food and drink scene within the capital is enough to draw a good tourist trade in its own right.
Once the city centre has been explored to fully, there are plenty of places to visit outside the city. Take a trip to one of the ‘villages’ of Stockbridge, Morningside, Duddingston and Cramond, or visit the seaside with a trip to Leith.
The city not only has a unique and rich culture of its own, it also welcomes a broad mix of cultures and traditions every year through its festivals. In August, the Edinburgh International Festival welcomes all to celebrate music, theatre, opera and dance. Other festivals to make room for in the diary include the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Edinburgh International Film festival . . . and that’s before we mention the Fringe!
With so many festivals actively welcoming diverse discussion and a range of cultural experiences, there are few that would argue with Edinburgh’s ability to entertain and delight the millions who descend on it from abroad each year.
Wish you could become more immersed in the most cosmopolitan of European capitals? Why not find out more about making the move to Quartermile today?