More than 20 UK-based travel trade buyers and agents are taking part in a ‘discovery workshop’ at Hard Rock Café as part of a three-day city familiarisation visit organised by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise in partnership with trade association, UKinbound.
The group, which represents Glasgow’s key international visitor markets including America, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and China, will meet with businesses and suppliers from across the city’s tourism sector to experience the very best of what it has to offer – from accommodation and food and drink to music, culture, museums and attractions.
Buyers attending range from SMEs to large global businesses from Scotland and across the UK. Among others, they will meet with city representatives from Glasgow Music City Tours, Tennent’s Brewery, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow Airport, Browns and Rabbie’s as well as National Trust for Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Virgin Trains, Gleneagles and Cameron House.
The trip is geared at building inbound tourism to Glasgow, fostering business relationships between buyers and industry, and reinforcing the city’s position not only as one of the UK’s leading tourism destinations but as Scotland’s global visitor gateway.
During their time in the city, the group’s itinerary will include visits to two of Glasgow’s, and Scotland’s, most celebrated attractions – the Riverside Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which together attracted more than 2.3 million visitors in 2015.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Tourism is a crucial pillar of Glasgow’s economic strategy. So it’s vitally important that we work with our industry partners and the wider UK travel trade to attract new overseas visitors to the city by building Glasgow’s international profile.
“One of the possible benefits of the falling pound is the forecast that international tourism to the UK is likely to grow. Glasgow needs to be ready to capitalise on this opportunity. This will reinforce our position as Scotland’s global visitor gateway, which in turn will benefit the wider Scottish tourism economy.
“Working with the UK’s leading tour operators to enhance their knowledge of Glasgow will help send a clear message to our international markets that Glasgow is open for business.”
UKinbound’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “We are delighted to be in Scotland hosting our latest Discover Event. Scotland is an incredibly important market, as shown by research undertaken by UKinbound in 2014 which demonstrated that more than a quarter of our members based in England and Wales attribute more than 50% of their turnover to inbound business to Scotland alone.
“During the three day schedule our tour operators will have the chance to experience Glasgow and Scotland’s diverse tourism offering; from a tour of Tennent’s Brewery and a visit to the Mackintosh designed ‘House for an Art Lover’ to a Glasgow Music City Walking Tour and an afternoon exploring Glasgow’s West End. We would like to thank our partners Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise for all their support with this event and for the incredible welcome they have provided to our members.”
Liz Buchanan MBE, VisitScotland’s Regional Partnerships Director for Glasgow, said: “This UKinbound workshop is designed to allow businesses to engage directly with key tour operators working across domestic and international markets. It’s an important opportunity for us to work together with our city partners to position Glasgow as a world-class destination with a distinctive, quality tourism offering.
“The profile earned through the staging of a series of successful major international events means that interest in Glasgow among the world travel industry is greater than ever. This workshop is an important platform for us collectively to capitalise on that by showcasing our attractions, our Charles Rennie Mackintosh heritage, our credentials as a UNESCO City of Music and as an ideal gateway to Scotland.”