Euan McGrory: Edinburgh and its festivals have to plan fot the tourist boom
August seems a long way off right now, especially with those biting winds blowing through the city.
The thought of sitting soaking up the sun and the festival atmosphere on George Street couldn’t be further from most of our minds right now. Plans nevertheless are being hatched for this year’s festivals, road closures and licenses have to be agreed, venues booked and acts organised. There has been a lot of talk about the Edinburgh’s tourism boom. This week there were two reminders that this growth in visitors shows no sign of stopping. First there was the announcement of the first direct flights from China to Scotland being secured by Edinburgh Airport. Then there was renewed talk of the huge publicity the city can expect from the new Avengers movie with an all-star premiere expected to be hosted in the Capital.
With so many of us these days relying on tourism for our living, this has to be good news. But it does come with its challenges. How, for instance, will the festival evolve to cope with the likely increase in visitors again this summer?
Will it spread its wings to ensure it does not suffer the kind of over-crowding we have seen at the peak of the Christmas celebrations? It must do.