Edinburgh's spectacular Christmas which reportedly is going to be grand this year has drawn complaints and controversies surrounding over-tourism in Scotland's capital. This year's German-themed market has reportedly been set up by the organisers without planning permission. Heritage groups have also said that the market, which is situated in Princes Street Gardens beneath the city's castle reflects a blinkered pursuit of the tourists at the cost of local interests.
Every year, this same market draws hundreds of foreigners from around the world and contributes more than £100m for the local economy. However, it has resumed the concerns of over-tourism in Edinburgh. Terry Levinthal from an organisation which promotes Edinburgh's cultural and architectural heritage, Cockburn association told an international media house that Christmas markets are good things, but tourism kind of agenda has driven the one in the city as opposed to vibrant and vital activities. Levinthal also said that the Christmas market in Scotland's capital is not about the people who live there, instead, it seems to be an 'exploitation, tourism growth kind of agenda'.
A huge structure has been put in Edinburgh's World Heritage site to celebrate Christmas this year without planning consent, building warrant and public entertainment licence, it reportedly gave an impression to the natives that 'whatever tourism want it can get'. However, the City of Edinburgh Council has also apologised for blunder caused in the planning and cited complications with the ongoing building work on the market's location. The Council even assured that conversations about how the winter celebration will look in future will be broadened.
✨🎉 It's one week til Christmas! 🎉✨ pic.twitter.com/aWwXB5UTJo— Edinburgh's Christmas (@Edxmas) December 18, 2019
Cities worldwide currently face the challenge to balance visitors' interests with the natives. The leader of the city council, Adam McVey told an international media outlet that it is all about maintaining a 'balanced economy'. There was a time when Edinburgh was not popular among tourists and did not have the vibrant hospitality industry and unemployment was high. However, McVey thinks that it is not a position Edinburgh 'ever want to get back to'. He city council head wants to use the hospitality sector in order to re-balance some part of the economy and making it more inclusive for 'everyone right across the city'.