An investigation into the social impacts of the Edinburgh Winter Festivals (on Edinburgh residents)
(2015) An investigation into the social impacts of the Edinburgh Winter Festivals (on Edinburgh residents), no. 104.
The purpose of this study is to examine the social impacts that affect Edinburgh residents during the Winter Festivals, which include both Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay. An in-depth literature review was carried out to examine the scope of festival tourism in Edinburgh. Characteristics of festival tourism as opposed to other events were also defined. An examination of the social impacts caused by festival tourism took place. Thereafter, primary data was gathered by conducting three interviews with senior managers who were involved in organizing the Winter Festivals. Secondly, a focus group with eight Tourism students was carried out. From the data, the main social impacts were analysed in accordance with the literature. Results revealed that a number of positive and negative impacts occur during the festival period although, interestingly, the positive impacts were all found to last beyond the event period. The negative impacts were found to dissolve after the Winter Festivals had ended. It was discovered that the positive impacts of the Winter Festivals are all interlinked and strengthen each other, and therefore outweigh the negative impacts. Specifically 'sense of pride' was uncovered as a positive impact which is instrumental in retaining community support. This research contributes to the tourism impacts literature in the sense that it examines social impacts of a commercial mega event, whereas previous literature mainly focuses on economic impacts and the social impacts of much smaller and often rural events.