Cultural tourism – music to the ears in Scotland

19 February 2002, United Kingdom

A new report by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) and Visit Scotland, Soundtrack for Scottish Tourism, shows that traditional musicians can give a boost to the tourist experience, while simultaneously benefiting a resurgence of interest in authentic local music. The report centres on a three-year scheme, the 'Traditional Music and Tourism Initiative', piloted by the SAC and Visit Scotland. Nineteen projects across the country were selected to participate – including traditional music on ferries, concerts, informal sessions in pubs and hotels, a promotional video and music festivals – many in partnership with local authorities, local enterprise boards and private sponsors. The original aims of the initiative were to raise the profile of traditional music within Scottish tourism, and allow visitors to find it easily, thereby promoting the nation’s musical heritage and culture, an improved experience for the tourist, while providing economic value to local businesses. The results demonstrated in the report, including measures of economic benefit and surveys of satisfaction levels amongst tourists, have shown the scheme to be a success. Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Mike Watson commented: ‘We must recognise and develop the winning combination of authentic tradition and talent, and our desire to welcome visitors with a uniquely Scottish experience showcasing the excellence of our best cultural products,’ signalling that traditional music is not a turn-off to tourists, but rather, a cultural attraction. Further information is available online at: