Posted : 3 March 2022


Dundee’s revamped Christmas offering was visited by over 267,500 people and generated £2.6m for the city’s economy, it was revealed today.

Christmas in Dundee 2021 featured the Winterfest event in Slessor Gardens, which included a festive market, skating rink and a big wheel, as well as a winter wonderland in City Square and new Christmas lights in the streets.

An evaluation of the Christmas activity has now been completed – and it revealed the event was hugely popular with visitors.

Plans are now being put in place to ensure Dundee city centre is once again the place to be, for locals and visitors alike, during the 2022 Christmas period.

Councillor Mark Flynn, convener of city development, said: “We promised we'd build a bigger and better celebration for Christmas 2021 and that’s what we’ve achieved.

“There was a real buzz about the town, with activities for young and old alike, and that’s now being borne out in the evaluation.

“The surveys that were done with hundreds of visitors showed that 90% rated the event as good or very good, while 88% had a more positive impression of Dundee due to the activities.

“The visitor numbers between City Square and Slessor Gardens are fantastic, and the direct economic impact of £2.6million shows that our ambitious plans for Christmas have really made their mark on the city.

“By whatever measure you look at – the enjoyment of those who attended or the economic impacts of the event – it’s been a huge success.”

A team of evaluators conducted site surveys to measure social and economic impact and to monitor the audience demographics and event experience.

The survey found that over two-thirds said attending had a very positive impact on their health and wellbeing. A further 68% said that the event helped with "quality time with my family.”

Economic impact findings included: just under three in 10 people who attended were visitors to the city; and 84 temporary jobs were created.

Councillor John Alexander, leader of the city council, said: “I want the kind of superb Christmas offering that Dundee had in 2021 to be a permanent fixture, and we are already planning for this year.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same – we want to learn from 2021 so that we can build and improve.

“We also want to harness the positivity and get others on board, particularly businesses who might want to get involved and help us to offer something even bigger and better next year.”

Christmas In Dundee 2021 was funded by Dundee City Council, with support from Event Scotland.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “We were delighted to support Christmas in Dundee 2021 through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and it is wonderful to see the positive impact the Christmas activity had on visitors and the community as a whole. It reinforces the important role events play both to our communities and the country as a whole.”

A spokesperson for M&N Events, organisers of Winterfest, said: “We are overjoyed at the positive impact WinterFest created for visitors and for the city of Dundee, and glad that our investment in the event was able to contribute to a more festive feel in the city.

“We are delighted that so many people were able to enjoy a Christmas event of this scale where they were able to have fun and feel safe. We are very excited to be able to bring a bigger and better WinterFest to Dundee for 2022 and are already working on ways we can deliver this.”

Posted : 24 July 2020

An ambitious plan to boost Dundee’s growing tourism sector has been unveiled.

Leading tourism experts in the city, through the Tourism Leadership Group, will oversee the Dundee Tourism Recovery Plan- Covid 19 to ensure the city is ready to progress and strengthen its tourism offer as quickly as possible as Coronavirus restrictions begin to lift.

In 2019 alone Dundee’s economy received a record breaking £214 million tourism boost and received accolades including being named among the coolest places in the world to visit this year by National Geographic Traveller UK, and featuring in Condé Nast Traveller UK’s 10 Best UK City Breaks for 2019.

This plan sets out key objectives to ensure the city maximises its reputation as a must-see destination despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. 

The key priorities of this ambitious plan will see the creation of a city narrative to tell the authentic story of Dundee, considering the changing markets for tourism and new priorities for prospective visitors.

In addition, the plan seeks to anticipate and respond to seasonal demand, grow visitor numbers, and ensure environmental sustainability remains a key focus of the city’s tourism activity.

With restrictions easing, A ‘Dundee Welcomes You’ guide has been pulled together in order to help visitors enjoy their visit. The webpage details what is open including hotels, attractions and retail.

This recovery plan builds on the Dundee Tourism Strategy 2020- 2025, the publication of which has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Going forward, the overarching aim of this plan is to return the city to a position where it is ready to adopt and implement the full tourism strategy.

Chair of the Dundee Partnership, Councillor John Alexander said: “Prior to the coronavirus outbreak Dundee’s tourism sector was booming and I hope as restrictions ease more and more people will once again come and visit Scotland’s sunniest city
“We exceeded our 2020 target for economic impact, overnight stays and day visits in 2019 to the city, this plan will build upon the innovative and creative record Dundee has and will work to attract more visitors and increase the spend in the city.

“We all have the responsibility to enjoy the city safely and I’m delighted this group will work closely with the sector to provide advice on safety measures, new initiatives and promote funding streams that are available to this sector.”
Deirdre Robertson, Chief Executive of the Dundee Heritage Trust, has been appointed the Chair of the Tourism Leadership Group and Tara Wainwright, Acting Director of Audiences & Media at V&A Dundee, and Jessica Reid, Deputy Director and Head of External Relations at Dundee Contemporary Arts, have been appointed Vice Chairs of the group.

Deirdre Robertson, newly appointed Chair of the Tourism Leadership Group, said: "It has been really encouraging in the first few days since restrictions have been eased to see how many visitors are coming from out with the city to visit Dundee's heritage and cultural venues and how responsible and respectful they are being.

“It is clear Dundee is increasingly being recognised within Scotland and beyond, not just for its much-loved visitor attractions and the range and quality of its restaurants and accommodation options, but also as a fantastic tourist base.

“There are very few cities with such richness on its doorstep, where visitors can base themselves and so easily reach an incredible variety of things to do - stunning castles and stately homes, historic abbeys, spectacular waterfalls, watersports, mountains, beautiful beaches, gorgeous river walks and picturesque, authentic unspoilt villages - all within easy travelling distance of our fabulous wee city.

“Dundonians know we are blessed to live here and increasingly others are wakening up to how amazing it is too."

This plan is designed to work in partnership with Dundee’s Cultural Recovery and Resilience Plan and with the city’s economic recovery plan.

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