Edinburgh has been warned not to rest on its laurels as international rivals seek to challenge its "pre-eminent" status as a festival city.
The international festival is among the annual events
A report by international consultants AEA compared the city against more than 20 other festivals across the world.
It said Edinburgh was still out in front - but said it could become "vulnerable" in future years.
The report set out 14 recommendations to preserve the city's status over the coming decades.
These included a continued investment in high-quality programming, collaboration to promote Edinburgh as the world's top festival city and a need to identify priorities over the next 20 years.
The Thundering Hooves report was commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council in partnership with a number of organisations.
These included Festivals Edinburgh, which brings together 11 events such as the fringe, book and film festivals and the Edinburgh International Festival - which contribute £184m to the Scottish economy.
The study said Edinburgh's atmosphere was unique and would be difficult to recreate elsewhere.
Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson said: "Every summer Edinburgh becomes the cultural capital of the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists from every corner of the globe.
"It is a status the city has enjoyed for more than 50 years but envious rivals are now seeking to emulate and even surpass Edinburgh's pre-eminent role.
"We know we cannot be complacent and should take note of the recommendation in this report for improved co-operation between all the festivals, the city council and other agencies."
A spokesperson for Festivals Edinburgh welcomed the "historic report".
"It is clear that in the face of increasing competition a co-ordinated strategy is a necessary to keep Edinburgh as the world's pre-eminent festival city," said the organisation.
"We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to ensure that our individual and collective strengths are supported and developed."