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THE Edinburgh Military Tattoo has beaten
competition from the Chelsea Flower Show to be
named the best event in the UK.
The world-famous extravaganza picked up the
accolade at a major travel industry awards
ceremony in London.
Readers of Group Leisure magazine - which is
aimed at official tour organisers all over the
UK - voted the Tattoo the number one event for
groups to go to over the last 12 months.
It beat the Chelsea Flower Show, the BBC
Gardener's World Live event and the Farnborough
International Air Show.
The Tattoo picked up the award almost a year
after it was named the best event in Scotland at
the annual Thistle Awards ceremony.
A Tattoo spokesman said today: "We're
naturally thrilled to hear that the Tattoo has
been named the best event in the UK for groups
to attend, especially coming on the back of the
Thistle Awards success last year. It's a real
honour to pick up this award, especially as it's
come from within the travel industry, which is
responsible for around half of our ticket sales
"We are under no illusions about the
importance of the travel industry to our ongoing
success and we would like to think this award
will do us no harm whatsoever in terms of next
The Tattoo's award is expected to provide a
major boost to ticket sales for next year's
event, which runs from August 4-26, when the box
office opens on December 1.
All 217,000 tickets for this year's Tattoo
sold out in March, three months quicker than in
2004, and organisers are already gearing up for
another scramble for briefs for next year's
event, the advance programme for which is due to
be unveiled in November.
The 55-year-old event has been a complete
sell-out for the last seven years.
Last night's awards ceremony is one of the
most prestigious in the tourism industry and has
been held every year since 1997.
Other winners at the event, which was held in
the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, included Virgin
Trains, which was named the best rail operator,
The Producers, which was voted best theatre
production and Alton Towers, the best attraction
in the UK.
A spokeswoman for Group Leisure magazine
said: "The group leisure industry includes
anyone who organises coach trips or organised
outings to an event.
"It's a multi-million-pound industry so
for the Tattoo to pick up this award is quite
something, especially as it was up against some
very big events. It's clearly an incredibly
This year's Tattoo saw dramatic scenes from
the Battle of Trafalgar beamed on to the walls
of Edinburgh Castle to commemorate the 200th
A VisitScotland spokesman said: "We'd
like to congratulate the Edinburgh Military
Tattoo on picking up this latest accolade.
"The Tattoo is not only a fantastic
visitor attraction, it also serves as a great
advert for Edinburgh and Scotland, with its
stunning blend of colour and performance,
entertaining large numbers of visitors every
Lord Provost and chairwoman of the Tattoo
Board, Lesley Hinds, said: "Every year the
Tattoo attracts thousands of people from around
the world. I am delighted it has been recognised
in this way."