Edinburghs Hogmanay Celebrations at Risk

The famed Edinburgh street party in full swing, this years version however may be more sedated

The famed Edinburgh street party in full swing, this years version however may be more sedated

By Graham Turner.

As it stands, Edinburgh is the second most desirable tourist location in the UK, second only to London. With a million people from over-seas countries coming to visit the capital every year. Naturally, this tourism has served as a staple of Edinburgh’s economy and ergonomic development. The festive season in the capital attracts a substantial portion of this tourism, most notably with the renowned Princes Street party held every year on Hogmanay. This one huge event accounts for a large portion of Edinburgh’s tourist-based income with the festivities accounting for upwards of around £40m towards the capitals local economy.

However this year, the Edinburgh council has been forced to downsize the street party as a result of the on-going tram works. Although these works have created a consistent stream of negative press as a result of convoluted scheduling and the ever expanding black-hole of a budget, there now may be long-term consequences as Edinburgh’s biggest tourist event downsizes in not only capacity, but surely quality as revelers look upon the once majestic princes street in it’s current iteration of dug-up walkways and abundance of red ‘No entry’ barriers.

Essentially, the ramifications of these changes will not only affect the short-term cash intake from the event itself, but may indeed tarnish the city’s reputation in regards to this event thus subsequently affecting future tourist interests. When contacting  press representation for the street party, the issue seems to be a sort of broken record subject, when asked about the overall effect the works may essentially have on the traditionally open-plan feel of the event, response comes in stoic, mono-tone avoidance resulting in the promise of a forwarded email covering the basis of any issues as a result of the works.

The irony inherent considering the wide-spread affect this project has had is two-fold, firstly in the notion that in a time of such economic crisis, surely the city council should have been better prepared to ensure this event is bigger than ever to help nurture an economic recovery. Secondly, these developments simply add fuel to the fire in the debate that when the veil is finally lifted and these trams are in operation will they create the cosmopolitan, euro-chic feel that the local council appear to be striving for. Or, will the city’s reputation and tourist appeal be so badly affected by the on-going works that the city will never re-cooperate or indeed profit in relation to the money already spent.

Festival Inns to Downsize Regional Operations

The Three Sisters, one of the bars to remain within Festival Inns operations.

The Three Sisters, one of the bars to remain within Festival Inns operations.

By Graham Turner.

As the economic fallout spreads across Scotland, Edinburgh has witnessed the small businesses that once catered to the capitals ‘niche’ markets shut up shop for good,  expenditure has decreased in shopping districts that once thrived as locals and tourists alike settle in for the long haul out of economic crisis.

It seems now that this trend has spread to the hospitality industry, once the backbone of Edinburgh’s prosperity and nationwide acclaim, the draw of George Streets up-market contemporary chic and the Old Towns charming hideaways are now becoming a thing of the past as punters opt for the supermarkets cheaper alcohol solutions as opposed to indulging in the after-work pint down the local.

Namely, Edinburgh’s own Festival Inns chain of bars and restaurants are starting to feel the strain. Having been in operation since 1997 and enjoying considerable financial success through bar’s such as Biddy Mulligans and The Three Sisters, Festival Inns has become one of the staples of the industry throughout the capital and greater Scotland. But it seems the chain can no longer maintain the full breadth of it’s operations through the decision to sell off the majority of it’s units in what the company claims to be a move towards ‘centralising’  it’s business with a focus on maintaining and inciting ergonomic development within it’s City-Centre units, aka Biddy Mulligans, The Three Sisters etc…

The decision means that locations like The Bank Hotel, Faith Nightclub, Cargo Bar/Restaurant and The Hudson Hotel will all be up for sale as owners and operational management within the company make a bid to re-cooperate losses that the whole industry is suffering as a result of economic downturn.

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