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Festivals make Scotland vibrant: Scottish cabinet secretary

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

EDINBURGH, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop on Thursday hailed the scale and variety of festivals in Scotland during 2014 amounted to a "ground-breaking" year.

The 200-plus annual festivals across Scotland make the nation such a vibrant place to live and visit, said Hyslop during a Scottish Government debate at Holyrood in Edinburgh.

The Commonwealth Games Highlights report, released by the Scottish Government and Games partners, refers to the recently ended Games in Glasgow being the largest multi-sport and cultural event held in Scotland in a generation.

Around 1,500 cultural events have involved thousands of artists, performers and participants in hundreds of locations nationwide.

"Festival 2014, the Games-time cultural program, attracted over 750,000 visits to four Live Zones in Glasgow as well as boasting over 6,000 performers in 1,000-plus performances in 100 venues city-wide," said Hyslop.

"Culture 2014 started in January and runs until the end of August, comprising the most ambitious national cultural celebration ever to take place in Scotland. International connections have featured in 109 Cultural Program projects, bringing the Commonwealth to Scotland's doorstep," she added.

The combined Edinburgh Festivals attract 25,000-plus international artists and audiences of over 4 million, 261 million pounds (about 435 million U.S. dollars) is ploughed into the Scottish economy, with 41 million pounds spent on accommodation and 37 million pounds in cafes and bars, according to the Scottish cabinet secretary.

"The Edinburgh Festivals represent a great tourism gateway, with 77 percent of visitors from outside Scotland saying the Festivals made them more likely to visit Edinburgh again," said Hyslop, hailing the chance opening visitors' eyes to Scotland's wider tourism offering, benefitting business and communities across Scotland.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140814/festivals-make-scotland-vibrant-scottish-cabinet-secretary