Business leaders warns tens of thousands of jobs at risk after Edinburgh festivals cancellation
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She said the number of jobs which were reliant on the festivals and the wider tourism sector were as much as five times higher than those that they employed directly.
Edinburgh's August festivals, which have attracted a combined audience of more than four million in recent years, are said to be worth more than £300 million to the economy and support more than 5000 jobs.
The tourism sector in the city is said to be worth around £1.5 billion to the economy and support 33,000 jobs each year.
The Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, the Tattoo and the city’s book and art festivals took a joint decision to cancel following crisis talks with the Scottish Government and the city council about the impact of the pandemic.
Speaking about the impact of the cancellation of the festivals on BBC Radio Scotland today, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce chief executive Liz McAreavy said: "We are already seeing quite a number of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector fail. We've taken a lot of calls from distressed businesses.
"I think we'll see a second wave now. I think there were probably a number hanging on and hoping that things might start improving by the summer, but I think this will probably be the end for quite a number of businesses.
"There's obviously the performers and supporting culture in the city, then there are a lot of other businesses such as hotels, restaurants and bars, but then there is the ripple effect of the supply chain, with bakers and butchers, and plumbers and maintenance workers who are keeping things going.
"There are probably four or five times more jobs at risk than those directly in the sector.
"Tourism currently employs about 36,000 people directly in Edinburgh.
"If you look at potentially four or five times as many as that when you look at the decimation of the industry you could have significant numbers of unemployed people coming onto the market."