The arrival in Edinburgh of two giant pandas from China has sparked hopes that the city’s new residents will provide a boost in tourist numbers, both to Edinburgh and to Scotland as a whole.
The two animals, named Tian Tian and Yang Guang, arrived in Edinburgh this week, and will be on show to visitors to Edinburgh Zoo from 16 December. Local tourism authorities expressed hope that the zoo’s latest acquisitions would draw significant visitor numbers to the Scottish capital, as they are the first pandas to live in the UK for 17 years. The eight-year-old pair, one male and one female, are expected to remain in Edinburgh for the next ten years, and it is hoped they will manage to produce some offspring during their stay.
Visitors to Edinburgh hoping to view the animals are being encouraged to book in advance, as the number of people allowed the view the animals is limited. Groups of visitors will be allowed in to see the pandas every ten minutes, and the process of walking through the viewing areas is said to last around 20 minutes.
Visitors to Edinburgh Zoo can also enjoy a wide variety of other animals exhibited, such as penguins, chimpanzees, Asian lions and rhinos. The zoo is open 365 days a year, and boasts more than 1,000 animals to view during a visit. As well as the pandas, there are also daily talks on sea lions, chimpanzee viewing experiences and a penguin parade!