Nearly a quarter of Perth businesses believe the city’s Christmas lights switch-on had a negative impact on their business, a survey has revealed.
Perth and Kinross councillors are preparing to carry out a review of the success of the city’s Christmas celebrations.
Perth’s Winter Festival ran throughout November and December and peaked with a seasonal switch-on ceremony starring 80s icon Billy Ocean and pop group Lawson.
Despite a reported £1.6 million economic windfall from the switch-on, which was said to have attracted 30,000 visitors, only two out of five businesses indicated the event benefited them.
Some 37% suggested that the event had no impact on their business, while 23% felt the switch-on had a detrimental effect.
Member of the council’s enterprise and infrastructure committee will review the results of a survey into key events within the Winter Festival programme.
The programme was made up of six main events and a series of markets, including farmers’ markets, craft markets and the chocolate festival.
As well as the Christmas lights switch-on, the six main events included the Coco-Cola truck visit, the community Christmas event, St Andrew’s Day celebrations, a church lanterns and Nativity parade and the Santa run.
The planned St Andrew’s Day celebrations and Nativity parade were cancelled due to bad weather.
Business development team leader Alan Graham stated that the three events held in the city centre, the lights switch-on, the Coca-Cola truck visit and Santa run, generated an estimated £2 million for the Perth and Kinross economy.
A visitor survey revealed that 98% of those who attended rated their overall experience as either very good or good.
Regarding the Christmas lights event, 20% of visitors were not from Perth and Kinross, while 67% said they would definitely return and 77% said they would recommend the event to others.
The convener of the enterprise and infrastructure committee, Councillor John Kellas, said: “Perth’s Winter Festival has established itself as a key feature of the area’s and indeed Scotland’s annual events calendar.
“The Christmas lights event is clearly attracting a large attendance and this is a reflection of the quality of the event.
“With such positive survey results from visitors to the area, it is clear that the festival is really making a difference to how people see Perth and the surrounding area.
“The profile of Perth and Kinross is on the rise and it is important that we do not lose momentum with this.”