Moray’s economy can expect a £2million boost from what has become one of the largest and most important annual festivals in Scotland.
The massive influx of visitors to the region brought about by the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival saw spending of £2.1million during the five-day event this year – maintaining a steady year-on-year increase in the springtime event.
Bellerby Economics have carried out an impact assessment on the effect the festival has had on the Moray economy in recent years. This has shown that in 2012 the Spirit of Speyside generated £1.4million – but that rose to £1.6million the following year before reaching a new high in 2014.
There are no signs of the phenomenal growth ending in 2015 for a festival that has brought 27,227 visitors to the region spending an average of £197 each on every day of the festival.
Festival chairman James Campbell said: “These figures demonstrate that the hard work put in by all festival partners is certainly paying off in increased visitor numbers and spend – as well as in visitor satisfaction levels.
“The introduction of the Spirit of Speyside Sessions giving a diverse evening programme of traditional music for festival goers was a highly successful addition.
“This, coupled with the development of the event transport, enhances the experience for all those who visit the festival.”
Next year has been marked as the Year of Food and Drink in Scotland and Spirit of Speyside organisers say that they are aiming to use that to build on the success of the festival.
Meanwhile the Spirit of Speyside festival earned another accolade on Thursday evening when it was named as the Best Traditional Event at the Scottish Event Awards.