14 June 1996

ITS BIG BUSINESS AT THE HIGHLAND

AN INDEPENDENT exit survey at last years Highland confirmed the event as a major trade event.

More than £7m of farm business was done at the show and that was backed up by decisions taken by farmers during the event to spend a further £80m. In addition, other visitors spent £3m during their time at the Ingliston showground.

According to the Royal High-land Agricultural Society chief executive, Hywel Davies, this is an endorsement of the show societys policy to make it a business event. "The Highland is not only for farmers but for others with responsibility for managing the countryside and rural resources," he says.

However, the report showed just how important a general audience was to overall profitability. The general public accounted for 62% of the total attendance of 153,000 and reached 71% on both the Saturday and Sunday.

Overall, farmers made up just 27% of the attendance with 8% coming from the supply trade. Of the farmers, half had more than 150ha (330 acres).

A massive 74% of visitors surveyed through the show provided either good (43%) or excellent (31%) value for money. However, 25% of respondents thought the show was expensive. More seating was singled out by 11% as the major improvement needed.

The survey also showed that 52% of visitors did not use the show guide and 37% did not watch the main ring attractions. No less than 72% of visitors surveyed were ABC1s, indicating that they were "affluent, economically active, and decision takers," according to the report.

The Royal Highland Show is not only a meeting place for farming folk from Scotland and south of the border, its also an important market place for farming and food businesses throughout the UK. A recent show survey revealed that 74% of visitors considered the event provided good or excellent value for money. More than £7m of farm business was done at last years show and other visitors to the event spent a further £3m.