Glasgow's big tourism conversation

Nearly 150 members from across Scotland’s tourism community gathered in Glasgow this month (Tuesday 17 January) for a major industry event following the launch of the city’s new Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023.

Organised by tourism partners Glasgow Life, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, the event took place at Drygate Brewery in the city’s east end. Glasgow’s Big Tourism Conversation was chaired by Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, and featured a keynote address from Danish travel and tech expert, Emil Spangenberg; formerly Director of Digital Marketing and Communications with Visit Copenhagen.

The day also included an interactive workshop, networking opportunities and a Q&A session with a panel of leading tourism professionals, including:

  • Dr Bridget McConnell CBE, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life
  • Callum Ross, Board Member of VisitScotland, Chairman of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Scotland and Co-Chair of Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC)
  • Emily Moore, Acting Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain
  • Anne Ledgerwood, General Manager of St Enoch Centre and Chair of Glasgow’s City Centre Retail Association 
  • Simon MacQuarrie, Managing Director of digital design agency Creative Cell, which is leading the £1 million Tennent’s Story project; a joint initiative with The School of Simulation and Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art and ZM Architecture geared at bringing the 500-year story of one of Scotland’s most iconic brands to life as a new visitor attraction opening in autumn this year.

Glasgow currently attracts just over 2 million visitors each year, spending almost £500 million. Additionally, some 20 million day visitors contribute approximately £1 billion to the local economy on an annual basis.

Launched last November, Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 is the new framework through which the city will attract 1 million more visitors and position Glasgow as the ‘gateway to Scotland’.

The plan sets out a clear direction for continuing to build the city’s global profile as a successful tourist destination and is focused on increasing overnight leisure tourism visits by 1 million over the next seven years.

Achieving 3 million overnight visits per year by 2023 will deliver an economic boost of £771 million and contribute an additional 6,600 jobs in the city.

It will also help to achieve Scotland’s target of an additional £1 billion of visitor expenditure by 2020 and align with the aims of the Glasgow City Region City Deal; supporting the growth of the area's economy.

To deliver this ambition, Glasgow has prioritised the positioning of its cultural tourism offer in key UK and international markets which, for the first time, is centred around six core themes: heritage; contemporary art; music; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; events and the city’s capability as a world-class sporting destination.

You can read more about the new Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 now. 


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