Euan McGrory: Time for tourist spending to be spread further across Lothians

Fringe crowds on the Royal Mile
Fringe crowds on the Royal Mile
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Where do all the tourists that throng the city centre find out where they should go while they are here?

Most do their homework online and have a pretty good idea of their personal hit list – the Castle, the Royal Mile, the Royal Yacht Britannia, and so on – before they arrive. Plenty though – especially among returning visitors – want to see something different and ‘authentic’, and get off the beaten track.

How do they pick up ideas? Other than getting tips from helpful cabbies or hotel staff?

Most tourists will do what we all tend to do when we are away and look for a tourist information centre to flick through the leaflets about other local attractions. That’s never been as easy as you would expect in Edinburgh with the flagship office somewhat tucked away on the roof of the Waverley Mall.

The plans for a major tourist office on the Royal Mile are long overdue. If everything is done properly, thousands more tourists will be able to learn about Craigmillar Castle, Leith’s Shore and East Lothian’s beautiful beaches, as well as attractions further afield. It’s about time the economic benefits of tourism spending were spread a bit further around the Lothians.