Thursday, 16 July 2021 09:06

Homecoming 2014 contributes £136million to Scottish economy

Homecoming 2014 contributes £136million to Scottish economy

New figures show that Homecoming 2014 contributed £136million to the country’s economy, and encouraged 326,000 visitors to travel to Scotland from overseas.

The independent research was commissioned by VisitScotland and conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development.

A total of 1049 Homecoming events took place over 2014, including Bannockburn Live, the John Muir Festival - including “Home” at the Kelpies - and Highland Homecoming, which saw more than 4.6 million people in attendance.

The research found that the events contributed to the highest ever combined spend by domestic and overseas visitors in a decade, and an increase in visits from both domestic and international travellers.

Every Local Authority area in Scotland carried out Homecoming-themed events throughout the year, and 83% of Scottish households and 93% of tourism businesses reported to be aware of the celebrations.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland welcomed the world in 2014 and this report shows the substantial impact that Homecoming 2014 had on the Scottish economy.

“The Homecoming celebrations were used to showcase Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. This was achieved through a year-long programme of over 1000 events designed to welcome visitors from around the world in a celebration of the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our assets as a country of natural beauty as well as our rich creativity and cultural heritage. I am pleased it had something for everyone with events taking place in every Local Authority across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government aims to continue building on this legacy, through a second series of themed years that spotlights some of Scotland’s greatest assets.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “2014 was quite simply an incredible year. Not only did we host some of the world’s greatest sporting events – the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup – we did the best thing a country can ever do, we celebrated ourselves! From culture to food and drink, nature to ancestry, more than 1000 events across the country showed the world just how incredible Scotland is – and visitors from home and abroad flocked to see us.

“Of course, the real success story of 2014 was the Scottish people – they welcomed the world with a friendly smile ensuring that everyone who visited became an ambassador for the country. Thank you to every single person who made Homecoming 2014 the outstanding triumph it was.”

Ian Ross, Scottish Natural Heritage Chairman, added: “In total, 40,000 people attended our first John Muir Festival, honouring the still influential conservationist from Scotland – and it was a great fit with the Year of Homecoming. Being part of the 2014 celebrations allowed us to reach even more people from home and abroad.

“Homecoming 2014 also helped with everything from our big launch celebration in Dunbar with thousands attending, to smaller community events such as group cycle rides, fun runs, and school nature visits. It helped us let both locals and visitors know about the new John Muir Way, which is a wonderful way for all of us to enjoy and benefit from Scotland’s beautiful countryside.”

The full report can be viewed on the VisitScotland website here.

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