Enchanted Forest wins coveted Thistle Award for Best Cultural Event

The Enchanted Forest is celebrating after adding another prestigious tourism award to its long list of successes.

Scotland's multi-award-winning sound and light show took home the trophy for Best Cultural Event at the Regional Final for Central, Fife & Tayside of the Scottish Thistle Awards held at Prestonfield last night. It will now go forward to the National Final next year.

The 2018 show, Of The Wild, released a record 80,000 tickets for its extended five-week run from October 4 until November 4 and, as has almost become the norm, again broke all previous box office records and sold out midway through the show's run.

This latest achievement is the icing on the cake for the event which was launched 17 years ago to drive footfall in the Highland Perthshire town of Pitlochry and surrounding area during the traditionally quieter Autumn months.

It is estimated that The Enchanted Forest's impact on the local tourism economy is around £3 million per annum with around 55.6% of visitors to the event this year choosing to stay overnight in the area on their visit and over 93.7% citing the event as their main reason for visiting the area this Autumn.

International visitor numbers have jumped from around 0.97% of audience share in 2014 to 2.97% of audience share in 2018, and with more than 85% citing the event as a reason for travelling to Scotland, they represented more than 28 different countries.

Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, which operates the event, said:

"We are truly delighted to be winners, for the third time, of the Scottish Thistle Award for Best Cultural Event. This is very much an event run by the community of Highland Perthshire and the team behind it are really exceptional, from the creatives team who devise the concept, our show producer Zoe Squair and brilliant operations team and to the stewards who stand out in the woods night after night. This award recognises their hard work and also the incredible loyalty of our thousands of visitors many of whom return every year to see how the show has evolved."

Tickets for next year's Enchanted Forest are now on sale via the website www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Abigail Shepherd