Tourism economy

Tourism is a significant sector of the East Lothian economy, bringing in £4.5 billion annually through overnight stays and in excess of £6.2 billion via day visitors. Visitors are attracted to the county for the quality of our environment and the range of cultural and sporting activities. More than 200,000 jobs are supported through tourism across 20,000 tourism-related businesses (Tourism Scotland 2020).

East Lothian Tourism Action Plan 2016 - 2018

East Lothian Council, VisitScotland, industry partners and public agencies have developed an East Lothian Tourism Action Plan to help focus activities and actions within the tourism sector that can attract key audiences to the county.It plays to East Lothian's strengths and acknowledges where development and activity should be focused in order to maximise greatest economic return for all those involved. It has been greatly informed by industry engagement and takes account of tourism sectoral priorities and focus.

East Lothian Visitor Survey 2018

In order to further develop the area as a visitor destination, and enable local tourism businesses to grow, East Lothian Council commmissioned a visitor survey to provide information that would help them understand visitor profiles, visit perceptions and attitudes to the area, provide comparisons with surveys from 2003 & 2011, assess the levels of awareness of key attractions and identify the type of activities undertaken.

Tourism support

We can provide support or signpost to suitable sources of support for tourism events and initiatives that attract additional visitors to the county.  Please email [email protected] if your business requires any help.


Creative Scotland offers funding to individuals, groups or organisations to apply for support for a wide range of activity in the arts, screen and creative industries.  Visit Creative Scotland for further information. 

EventScotland deliver a series of funding programme to develop events in Scotland, programmes include: National, International, Beacon, Scottish Clan Fund, Scotland's Winter Festivals & Themed Years. Visit EventScotland for further information.