The economic impact of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration has risen by 40.5% in eight years as new figures were published showing 165,994 people from 80 countries attended the event this year.

Organisers of the festival unveiled its annual report today (Wednesday) showing takings from the street party extravaganza have risen from £27.9m to £39.2m this year.

Underbelly, which won the contract to put 0n the event from Unique Events last year, revealed their findings, among which were that 2,871 young people took part in engagement projects related to the event.

It found also that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was the main or only reason for visiting Scotland for 71% of attendees from outside of Scotland – showing the power of events to drive tourism.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “We’re delighted by the increased economic impact of the event on Edinburgh and Scotland; to be an event that both encourages people to visit and creates employment in the city; to have people from 80 countries buy tickets for the event but also see a strong local audience that engages and participates. And we’re very proud of the volunteering opportunities that we created with the Hogmanay Ambassador scheme and pleased to see an event that directly employs so many people.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is an incredible occasion known the world-over, and one that plays a valuable role in reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.  The enormous celebration that engulfs Edinburgh, and indeed across the whole of Scotland is legendary the world over.”

Research conducted by BOP Consulting, who regularly undertake surveys of Edinburgh’s festivals, surveyed 5,236 attendees and found that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was the main or only reason for visiting Scotland for 71% of attendees from elsewhere in the world, 74% of whom were attending Hogmanay for the first time.

BOP’s survey also found that:

  • 85% of visitors rated events good or very good (54% rated very good).
  • Visitors spent an average of 3.4 nights in Edinburgh and 4.3 nights in Scotland, spreading the benefit outside of the capital.
  • 31% of attendees came from Edinburgh, the Lothians and the rest of Scotland, a further 44% from elsewhere in the UK, and 25% from nations around the world.
  • While the majority of visitors were aged between 16 and 34 (54.8%), 3% were over 45, demonstrating the event’s broad appeal.

As part of its work, BOP Consulting also undertook an economic impact study of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. This assessment follows the broader impact assessment that BOP Consulting undertook for Edinburgh’s festivals in 2010 and 2015 and their analysis of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is based on the same methodology.

The calculated economic impact of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on Edinburgh in 2017/18 was £39.2m in terms of additional output, increasing by 40% from £27.9m when last measured in 2010; and the impact on Scotland in these terms was £39.8m, increasing by 22.8% from £32.4m, when last measured in 2010.

In terms of employment, the calculated economic impact equates to 826 full time jobs in Edinburgh (compared to 589 when measured in 2010) and 920 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Scotland (FTE in Scotland was not measured in 2010).

“We are very grateful to all our sponsors and partners including the Edinburgh Festivals Tourism Innovation Fund, Edinburgh Airport, Carlsberg and Edinburgh Gin; and to Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses who once again provided free transport home at the end of the 31 December celebration. Also a massive thank you to all the people on the ground who made the events happen on the days and nights, especially City of Edinburgh Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.”

Underbelly produces Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council. Developments in Underbelly’s first year included the creation of #ScotWord to mark the start of the Year of Young People 2018: #BRAW; the amazing animation and atmosphere of the Street Party up and down Princes Street, Niteworks’s special composition for the midnight fireworks, Rag’n’Bone Man’s singing of Auld Lang Syne, the addition of Bairn’s Afore and Val McDermid’s unique collaboration on Message from the Skies.