TER Edinburgh's Christmas 1

Did you enjoy yourselves at Edinburgh’s Christmas? Well it seems that millions of you did as all the figures have risen since last year.

There are those who object to St Andrew Square being turned into a carnival park, and there are those who feel that the rides and attractions are too expensive, but the organisers of Edinburgh’s Christmas have now crunched the numbers and they are all positive.

Over half a million tickets were sold for all the shows and rides at Edinburgh’s Christmas this year which is a 40% increase on the number sold in 2013/14.

Almost 20% of the tickets sold were bought by Edinburgh residents using the EH postcode discount.

Visitors to the various city centre sites numbered 3.6million which is again up on last year’s figure of 2.6m.

Essential Edinburgh has confirmed that the attractions of Edinburgh’s Christmas have been good for business in the city centre with footfall there up by 8.6% on last year during the same period.

The figures have delighted the festival organisers. Charlie Wood of Underbelly, and producer of Edinburgh’s Christmas, said: “We are obviously thrilled at the figures – over half a million people bought tickets for shows and attractions at Edinburgh’s Christmas and over 1 in 10 people eligible for the EH postcode discount took up the offer.

“It demonstrates the scale and attraction of the festival. We set out to make Edinburgh’s Christmas one of the world’s best places to be at Christmas time and these figures show that we’re on our way to achieving that. It is also gratifying to note that almost one in five of the tickets sold was at a special discount offered to local families – showing that we listened to concerns from the previous year, addressed them and helped deliver a Christmas celebration for the residents of Edinburgh.

“As ever, we will be working in the next few months to see what worked well, what didn’t work so well, and how we can improve the festival to make sure that next year’s is an even greater success for the people of the city and visitors to the city to look forward to and enjoy. In particular, we want to work with other areas of Edinburgh to involve them in Edinburgh’s Christmas and extend the benefits to businesses and residents in those areas.”

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: “Our winter festivals are the envy of the world and rightly so. This has been another record-breaking year, and the huge boost to footfall is good news for city centre businesses and the local economy. I think residents will agree that the programme was even bigger and better this year, and I’m pleased so many local people have benefitted from the discount we launched especially for EH postcode holders, these results just go to prove there is no place that can beat Edinburgh at Christmas.”

Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, added: “We support Edinburgh’s Christmas because it helps make our fantastic city centre an even better place to work, visit and live at a very special and important time of the year.

“This year’s figures demonstrate the great value that high quality events bring to the city centre and the businesses there – with large numbers of people coming to the area to take part. It is also good to note that many of these were local people who were able to take part in special discounted prices.

“We will be talking with our levy-payers to see what aspects worked best for them, and which aspects might need to be tweaked, but overall we should all acknowledge what has been a fantastic event.”