South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has launched a major report into the economic impact of Robert Burns which has revealed the Bard is worth over £20m a year to the local economy of Dumfries and Galloway.


Joan McAlpine - Burns Report

The MSP attended the meeting along with representatives of Ellisland Museum which was highlighted in the report as a destination which could generate many more visitors with the right investment.

The report, carried out by Professor Murray Pittock of Glasgow University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies and funded by the Scottish Government, also found that the national bard is worth over £200 million a year to the wider Scottish economy, with his brand being worth nearly £140 million annually.

The launch took place at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway as part of the annual conference of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

“The findings of this report are very exciting and highlight how much more can be done to going forwards, not just to maximise the benefits of the Burns brand to the food and drink, retail and tourism industries but also in terms of connectivity and education.

“The study also gives us important insights into the value of cultural tourism to the Dumfries & Galloway; for example, tourists who visit for heritage and cultural reasons tend to stay longer and spend more money. We can use this knowledge to feed into our tourism strategies and help enhance Scotland’s standing as a global cultural destination. The report suggests ways we could further increase the economic benefit to Dumfries and Galloway by focussing on Burns in our tourism approach, linking ticket sales and marketing and improving connectivity.

“The report also makes some interesting practical suggestions for things we can do right away. For example it suggests changing the name of Prestwick Airport to The Robert Burns International Airport. I think this is a great idea and I fully support it. It suggests Scotland should look to Austria where Mozart related tourism and sales of everything from chocolate to beer generate billions, not millions for the economy.”

“I’ve lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament welcoming this report which I hope will lead to a debate in Parliament in time for the Bard’s anniversary on the 25th January.”

The full report can be found at this link