TWO of the Capital’s most popular tourist attractions are celebrating after scooping second and third place in a major UK ranking.
Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (RYB) were behind only the Tower of London in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for Landmarks.
The success of the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith – which finished ahead of global icons including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – has sparked particular delight, with attraction bosses predicting the result would provide a timely boost to their area.
Allan Mackie, secretary at Leith Harbour and Newhaven community council, said: “It’s probably a wee bit of a surprise that it has come third, ahead of places such as Buckingham Palace. I’m delighted – I think it’s excellent for Edinburgh but particularly for Leith, which has not had the best of times in recent years with the failure of various schemes that were planned.
“We’re not aware of any change [that may be behind the ranking]. The yacht is just a good, solid and consistent attraction.”
Bob Downie, chief executive at RYB, said the yacht’s success was thanks to good customer relationships.
He said: “I’m delighted that our pioneering approach to delivering outstanding customer experiences has resulted in another podium place, because the true test of any great organisation is the consistency of their performance as seen through the eyes of their customers.”
For leaders at Edinburgh Castle, there were grounds for a double celebration, as their attraction finished 24th in the Europe-wide ranking.
Marketing bosses have branded the result a “coup”.
John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “To have not one, but two of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions placed in the top three of the 2015 Travellers’ Choice UK landmarks awards is terrific news and a true reflection of the increasing popularity and rising standards of our city’s overall tourism offering. To see the Royal Yacht Britannia rated so highly by visitors, ahead of the likes of iconic sights such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace is a real coup and most deserved.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s culture leader, added: “It’s fantastic to see Leith’s maritime history named in this list and when the doors open to Custom House later this summer, Edinburgh will have yet another cultural space for residents and tourists to visit.”