British Council Creative Economy

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25 October 2016

Can Edinburgh Inspire More Festival Economies?

As part of’s ongoing series on creative cities across the UK, we take a look at what Egyptian city Luxor can learn from Edinburgh

The urban innovation platform has explored Edinburgh’s world famous festival economy to find out what other cities can learn from its 12 globally renowned annual cultural events, generating over £200 million annually.

Attracting some 4.5 million cultural visitors annually, Edinburgh’s festivals certainly stand apart, while the UNESCO Heritage Site provides for a unique backdrop to contemporary creative output. One of the world’s most iconic cities, Luxor is also home to an overwhelming history and heritage – however, the ancient Egyptian, Nile-side city has suffered dramatic economic losses in the aftermath of Egypt’s political upheaval.

While both cities largely rely on cultural tourism, Edinburgh has managed to continuously grow its visitor numbers, and, in turn, the size of its creative economy. With similar population sizes, unique histories and interesting topographies, the latest in’s #CreativeCitiesUK series delves into Luxor’s contemporary cultural festivals, as well as its local folkloric events, to find out where it falls short, and what lessons the Upper Egyptian city can learn from the likes of Edinburgh. With interviews from Luxor festival management and Egyptian tourism officials, the feature finds a lack of cohesion and understanding on the government side on the potential of a thriving festival economy.

Read more here.