Historic, cosmopolitan and cultured, Edinburgh, our inspiring Capital, occupies a truly special and dare I say it enviable position in tourism terms.
The leading festival city in the world and home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites in the Edinburgh Old and New Town and The Forth Bridge, our city simply has so much to offer.
In 2050, I hope that Edinburgh will still occupy this special position, remaining a jewel in our tourism crown.
Our renowned heritage and festival status gives us a unique selling point on the international stage, not just for the city, but for the whole of Scotland.
I believe that by working together we can continue to capitalise on an already outstanding international reputation of both, drawing millions from across the globe for many more years.
Major events and festivals, like the Edinburgh festivals, don’t just provide some of the best entertainment anywhere in the world either – they also represent a multi-million pound benefit – generating jobs and enhancing the city’s economy.
However, tourism is a highly competitive global market so in order to remain at the heart of Edinburgh’s economy in the years to come, it is important that we embrace new technology and ways of working.
Strong connectivity is absolutely vital in helping us grow the visitor economy. In 2050, Edinburgh should be more connected than ever before through transport and digital channels – giving the city as loud a voice as possible within our key markets.
The increase of routes to and from the city is fundamental in helping us achieve this with air connectivity particularly important in ensuring we attract more people, from more places, to the city. Edinburgh Airport is already doing valuable work in this area and I hope we will see many more air routes developed in the years ahead.
Increasing our digital connectivity is equally important. Digital will be even more deeply rooted in everyday life than it is today, so it is vital we continue to invest in digital technologies. This will ensure businesses in the city are able to increase their global reach and visibility, helping us provide the very best information and inspiration to visitors.
Most importantly of all in 2050, I hope to see a clean and vibrant city that is a pleasure not just to visit but also to work and live in. The improvements that we will strive for in the coming years must work for both the visitor and the resident, ensuring our world-renowned warm welcome continues to be as strong as it is today. I believe that by working in partnership to achieve all these goals, and others, Edinburgh will remain a must-visit destination for people around the world for decades to come.
Manuela Calchini is South of Scotland Regional Director at VisitScotland