NEW Zealanders are set to flock to the Capital after being wowed by a travelling performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
More than 82,000 tickets were sold for the extravaganza’s four-night run at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, which saw 1500 performers take part in a specially tailored programme.
Tourism bosses in the city said the event generated £25 million for the local economy – half of the total amount spent at the New Zealand Festival for Wellington.
And 41 per cent of audiences said they had been inspired to travel to the other side of the world to see the Tattoo in action at Edinburgh Castle.
Brigadier David Allfrey, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo producer and chief executive, said the visit had been a huge success. He said: “We have been astonished by how well the Tattoo has been received on the other side of the world.
“The audience figures confirm the extraordinary international appeal of the Tattoo and the major economic impact it can provide to our partner nations.
“The Wellington event was one of our biggest-ever shows and it was marvellous to see the different cultures come together to create such an outstanding event.
“We are very proud of all that the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo achieved in just a few days and the response from the audience. We look forward to seeing many of our new friends when they come to Scotland to visit this summer.”
The Wellington shows saw the Tattoo field its biggest ever cast at the same time, including 200 Maori kapa haka performers.
Sue Paterson, New Zealand Festival executive director, said: “The sense of optimism felt around Wellington during four weeks of festival activity is now well supported by the latest economic impact figures.
“The spirit of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was well and truly alive in the capital and we’re delighted with the impressive results it achieved for Wellington.”
Such was the event’s draw that almost all – 99 per cent – non-Wellington residents who attended a performance said they made the trip specifically to see the Tattoo.
Celia Wade-Brown, mayor of Wellington, said: “Wellingtonians and visitors overwhelmingly enjoyed the four nights of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
“The grand spectacle filled our hotels and restaurants.”
The Tattoo will return to its Edinburgh Castle home this August.
Lord Thurso, VisitScotland chairman, said: “It has earned its stripes as the greatest show on earth.”