Edinburgh drops out of TripAdvisor’s UK top ten

EDINBURGH has slumped dramatically in a visitor satisfaction poll in the past year, new figures have suggested, with the city dropping out of the top ten UK destinations.
Sky-high prices during Festival among criticisms of capital. Picture: Ian RutherfordSky-high prices during Festival among criticisms of capital. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Sky-high prices during Festival among criticisms of capital. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The capital failed to appear among the highest-rated cities in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2013, despite topping the list after London for the past two years.

Edinburgh remains the second most-visited place in the UK, with 1.25 million overseas tourists last year, behind London, according to a separate survey published yesterday by VisitBritain.

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However, the drop in positive reviews has called into question the visitor experience.

Edinburgh's Princes Street. Picture: Phil WilkinsonEdinburgh's Princes Street. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Edinburgh's Princes Street. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

In contrast, Glasgow rose from fifth to third place after Manchester and London, and was described as “ a friendly, bustling town … vibrant theatre life, the most talked-about independent music scene outside the USA”.

TripAdvisor said the results took into account ratings for 
hotels, attractions and restaurants in destinations worldwide over 12 months.

Politicians said the city must avoid resting on its laurels as one of Europe’s most attractive destinations, and ensure it continues to live up to expectations.

Gavin Brown, Tory MSP for the Lothians, said: “Edinburgh is a fantastic place and it’s no surprise to learn it’s the second most visited place in the UK.”

But he added: “This survey suggests if we’re not careful there is a danger we will drop in the league tables so politicians, business leaders and tourism groups need to ensure we do not become complacent.”

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Marketing Edinburgh also said the results were “surprising” but were not reflected in other recent awards, such as Leading European Business Destination.

A spokeswoman for the tourism body said: “The opinions and experiences of those who come to Edinburgh are extremely important to us and we’re keen to listen and learn from them – but the results from Trip-Advisor are surprising.

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“We continually win awards, whether it’s Leading European Business Destination or Top UK City for the 13th year in a row.”

It is not clear how much the recent transport disruption from the Edinburgh trams project has had on reviews, given that work was under way when the city previously topped the charts.

However, some critics did cite “sky-high prices” during the Festival as one turn-off, while one reviewer recommended guests stay in Glasgow, and take a trip to the east coast.

Despite the criticisms, there was still a large number of positive reviews, with one user writing: “Edinburgh is a gem of a city and one of the safest to wander round in the world.”