VisitScotland hails role Dumfries and Galloway played in
multimillion pound Homecoming Scotland 2014 success

Homecoming 2014 generated £136 million of additional revenue to the Scottish economy and encouraged more than 326,000 visitors from outside of Scotland to travel to the country, it was revealed today (Wednesday 15 July 2015).

Dumfries & Galloway played an important role in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme with key events* being hosted here, including; The Wigtown Book Festival, Big Burns Supper and World Curling Championships Seniors and Mixed Doubles.

The independent research, commissioned by VisitScotland, was presented by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.

The findings in the comprehensive study from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development include:

• £136m net additional revenue generated for Scotland
• 326,000 visitors from outside the country who cited Homecoming as the primary reason for traveling to Scotland in 2014
• £94 million net additional expenditure by visitors
• 4.6 million attendances at more than 1000 Homecoming 2014 events
• 1,336 net full time equivalent (FTE) jobs generated by visits associated with Homecoming 2014

Paula McDonald, Regional Director 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, Dumfries & Galloway played an important role with being included in more than 1000 events across the country showing the world just how incredible the region and 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.”

The figures show how events such as Bannockburn Live, the John Muir Festival (including ‘Home’ at the Kelpies), Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo, Forth Bridges Festival and Highland Homecoming ensured the second year of Homecoming extended the benefits brought to Scotland alongside the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

The diverse range of sell-out events and exceptional audience attendance figures across the country, combined with extensive global marketing campaigns by VisitScotland, guaranteed that the spotlight truly shone on Scotland during 2014.

Further successful indicators from the Year of Homecoming include:
• 1049 Homecoming events throughout Scotland – more than double the initial target of 400
• Homecoming-themed events in every Local Authority area in Scotland
• A significant impact on tourism – the highest ever combined spend by domestic and overseas visitors in a decade and an increase in visits both from domestic and international visitors
• Funding for 137 events throughout Scotland during 2014
• 83% awareness of Homecoming 2014 throughout Scottish households
• 93% awareness of Homecoming 2014 across tourism businesses
• Homecoming TV advert viewed by more than 5.5 million people in Scotland and North of England

Homecoming 2014 sought to motivate ancestral Scots, the people of Scotland and all those with an affinity to Scotland to visit the country and engage in five distinct themes associated with the country: ancestry, creative, active, natural, food and drink. The first Homecoming was held in 2009.

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.”

Ian Ross, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Chairman, said:
“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.”

To view the report, go to http://www.visitscotland.org/pdf/EconomicEvaluationHomecomingScotland2014.pdf

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