Tourism lift

Capital in running for record start to soggy summer

Bank of Taylor: The Taylor Swift concerts will inject millions into Edinburgh’s economy

Traditionally, the Edinburgh Marathon weekend is one of the busiest for the capital’s accommodation providers and with superstar Taylor Swift due to perform at Murrayfield for three nights next month it could prove to be a record-breaking start to the summer.

Turnout yesterday among casual visitors to Scotland’s biggest marathon may have been lower because of the torrential rain, but the trams were packed with those arriving from all parts of the UK to support family members and friends taking part.

An estimated 35,000 people converged on the capital to compete in the marathon, half-marathon and related races, with Saturday’s events taking place in better weather.

Edinburgh Marathon runners
The Edinburgh Marathon was run in soggy conditions (pic: Terry Murden)

Retailers and hospitality venues hope to capitalise on these events and the rain would at least help to drive visitors into shops, pubs and cafes which have had a soggy start to the year.

The big flood of money, however, will be the surge of “Swifties” descending on the city for three sell-out concerts from 7-9 June by the US phenomenon who has booked her own place as a billionaire pop star.

Allison Summers from Aberdeenshire with daughter Stacy Dorosh (pic: Terry Murden)
The Cook family made the trip to Edinburgh from Suffolk (pic: Terry Murden)

Many hotels have been sold out for months and rates have rocketed, and there has been a similar pattern for the short-term rental market which remains in dispute with the government and local authorities over new legislation controlling numbers.

Edinburgh has seen 85% of its current available short-term listings booked up, fuelling a 46% jump in premiums from £230 a night to £336.

Short-term letting accommodation in the city is the most expensive for The Eras Tour, followed by London, and then Cardiff. The tour will inject £9 million in cumulative revenue into the UK short-term rental market, according to NetVoucherCodes, in partnership with AirDNA.

Attendance at the three Swift concerts will surpass last year’s two Harry Styles’ performances at Murrayfield, which attracted more than 120,000 fans.

Wet weather has hit retail sales across the UK (pic: Terry Murden)

Andy Wood of Tax Narratives, said Taylor Swift’s tour could be worth £1 billion to the UK economy.

“Swift’s tour, by channelling fan spending across multiple sectors—from merchandise to hospitality—illustrates a shift in consumer behaviour where fans are willing to invest heavily in experiences that resonate on a personal level.

“This phenomenon, increasingly termed ‘Swiftonomics,’ highlights the profound impact that cultural icons can have on economies, particularly during the economic downturn.”

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