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Burns Festival May 2002: impact assessment


The Burns Festival took place in Ayr between 27 April and 5 May 2002. Its objectives were: to raise awareness of Robert Burns and contemporary Scottish culture; to raise awareness of Ayrshire and Scotland; to generate visitor stays in Ayrshire; to generate economic benefit; and to provide a platform from which to attract private sponsorship in future years. The evaluation focused on measuring the economic and social impact of the festival as recorded by the tourism industry, local residents and visitors.


an intercept survey of visitors; telephone interviews with local tourism service providers; qualitative analysis; advertising equivalence evaluation; transport utilisation; visit analysis; sponsorship analysis; public sector support analysis; industry evaluation; and interviews with the Burns Federation and other stakeholders.


The festival filled an important gap in Scottish culture and was an important building block for future events. The public sector investment in the festival was returned. The tourism infrastructure was suitable for the event.


Commitment to the growth of the festival must continue. The marketing challenge in the future will be to attract visitors from outwith the region to visit the area at times outwith the festival. Ayr must become synonymous with the Burns festival, and the location and date must remain stable to build up brand awareness.

Author Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, Glasgow Caledonian University
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
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