The End of Homecoming Year

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Over the weekend over 40 events really saw the end of Scotland’s Homecoming Year. As you will remember this was a year long celebration of things Scottish and a determined effort to draw people back to their roots. It was almost an attempt to woo people back much as the Irish have successfully done. The timing, though this couldn’t have been planned, gave Scotland a strong tourism appeal whilst other countries laboured to attract visitors. With St Andrew’s Day today heralding the official end, it is probably too early to say how successful it was although that hasn’t stopped people from hailing it as a runaway success.

Firstly, how many tourists might Scotland have attracted if they hadn’t had the Homecoming?  An almost impossible question for to answer other than to say that the numbers would probably be down on 2008.

Scotland spent £5.5 million attracting us to visit Scotland. Early estimates suggest their targeted £44 million might be achieved so that is a return of 8 times the costs. However the Gathering in Holyrood Park cost ran at a loss for the organisers but, it is claimed, still brought in £10 million for the local economy.

During the same period, London had its “Only in London” campaign which cost £2 million. According to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the campaign brought in £50 million worth of tourism so he is going to spend a further £400,000 by March 2010. So if you get a result of an income of 25 times your costs, the Homecoming doesn’t look as successful.

Except, of course, how on earth do you efficiently measure what your money brings in when you can’t really measure visits from those that can come and go in a day? You can claim a lot but proving that a campaign and only that campaign delivered the goods is tantamount to me saying I increased the number of people reading this article by 10%.  Is it due to the quality of the writing, an interest in the subject or the fact that you came across it by accident.

Just like the Scottish and London figures we’ll never know.

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