Organisers of the Royal National Mod are hopeful the 2021 Inverness event will generate an even bigger boost for the local economy after a year’s wait.
The Mod was due to take place in Inverness this week – an event worth millions of pounds to the host venue.
However, organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach were forced to pull the plug due to the restriction imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The nine-day event was last held in the Highland Capital in 2014, generating £3.5million for the local economy.
The Mod is now scheduled to return in October next year.
Convenor Alisdair Barnett is hopeful the cancellation of this year’s Mod will potentially create a “better financial outcome” for the local economy next year.
He said: “There is no question that financially as a city we have lost out. But in some ways it might make next year even more special and make people appreciate what they are getting there in terms of the camaraderie, the atmosphere and the enjoyment that people get out of the Mod.
“I do think there is almost going to be a pent-up appetite for coming to Inverness because of this.
“In some ways it might create a better financial outcome next year, although that doesn’t help people in the short term which is still concerning.
“We just hope that all the businesses that are having difficulties come through this and are available for us next year.”
The decision came just six months on from the success of the Mod in Glasgow which generated £3.2million for the local economy, following its return to the city for the first time in 29 years.
Around 12,000 people visited the Scottish city during the event to watch more than 3,000 competitors turn out in 200-plus events.
To mark the event’s original date this year, organisers have been holding a virtual Mod on social media showcasing a number of performances and programmes.
Mr Barnett hailed it a success as viewers embrace the variety of entertainment on offer to them.
He added: “The virtual Mod has been very, very successful. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have seen so far.
“Quite often at the Mod you have to prioritise what you are going to see. This way they are able to get a mix of everything.
“There have been quite a few comments from people enjoying the fact that they were able to listen and see things they wouldn’t normally be able to do so that was a positive out of the virtual aspect.”
Highland councillor Alister Mackinnon attended the final day of the Mod in Glasgow last year.
He is hoping for another successful Mod in 2021 but stressed public safety was of “paramount importance.”
He said: “I fully support the decision organisers took not to have it this year because it wouldn’t have been right.
“It’s been a difficult time. We are in a very fluid situation and we just have to move with whatever conditions we are presented with.
“The bottom line is the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Highlands and the attendees of the Mod is of paramount importance and I’m hopeful that in 2021 we will have again another very successful Mod for Inverness and for the Highlands.”