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Burns festival, May 2003: impact assessment


The ‘Burns and a’ that’ festival aimed to celebrate Scottish creativity and the arts by: raising awareness of Robert Burns, contemporary Scottish culture, Ayrshire and Scotland; generating additional bed-nights in Ayrshire; deriving economic benefits from the event; and providing a positive platform for the attraction of private sponsorship in future years. The evaluation aimed to assess the economic impact of the festival using quantitative and qualitative data, and to provide a framework for impact assessment replicable in future years.


The methodology consisted of: stage one - agreement of research tools/methods, liaison with key stakeholders, and replicate previous methodology to allow for year on year comparison; stage two – collection of data through an intercept survey; and stage three – analysis (qualitative, sponsorship, visitation and public sector support analysis, industry and advertising equivalence evaluation, and transport utilisation) and report preparation.


Shows the festival resulted in approximately 48,000 people attending events, over £2 million of advertising equivalence press coverage, and local direct expenditure of £950,000. Notes this second festival in 2003 was more ambitious in length and content. Finds the outcomes in terms of expenditure, publicity and destination awareness building were good.


Recommends that to see real economic impact at a local level and to continue to develop the brand identity of the location, commitment to future funding by the public sector will be vital. Suggests that to build a festival that will attract overseas and international visitors it must continue to stage high profile, major events. Concludes that any attempt to extend future festivals to an increasing range of tangentially connected locations risks diluting coherence.

Author Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
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