Rock for tourists used to mean a pink minty stick with a resort's name printed through the middle.
Times have changed. These days music tourism is big business, boosting the UK economy by up to £2.2 billion a year. More than £100 million was spent in Scotland in 2012 by non-locals attending concerts and music festivals, according to a new report from Visit Britain and Music UK which classes as a music tourist anyone who travels further than three times the average commuting distance to an event.
With events such as T in the Park and RockNess, Scotland draws visitors to rural areas from other parts of Scotland and the UK as well as from overseas. Celtic Connections and other urban events contribute to the £62m spent at festivals while £42m was spent in 2012 at concerts in venues across Scotland.
The arrival of the Hydro in Glasgow is expected to attract bigger acts and audiences, enhancing Scotland's access to the music tourism boom.
In a music scene oversupplied with identikit rock festivals, Scotland's offering stands out and the report identifies our economy as one which benefits from a pronounced music tourism effect. Festivals were once seen as more of a nuisance than an opportunity. But the times they are a-changin'.
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