Tourism & events

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Glasgow – Going places

Glasgow put itself front and centre in the tourism and event sector the day it won the right to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Since then an entire ecosystem of infrastructure supporting the tourism and events sector has developed. Glasgow is now the first-choice host for major international events and conferences with business confirmed until 2022 and bidding for business up to 2026.

The city has a Major Events Charter; Glasgow is the first city in the UK to launch this sort of formal charter that guarantees support for organisers aiming to bring major sporting and cultural events to Glasgow.

Glasgow’s ambitious Tourism and Visitor Plan envisages an additional one million tourists by 2023 with a knock-on spending increase of £771 million per year, growing tourism GVA by £148 million.

With this strategy, support and infrastructure in place, Glasgow’s tourism and events sector is booming.

Competitive advantage: tourism and events Glasgow

  • New, fully developed infrastructure for tourism and events, particularly large sporting and cultural events.
  • Successful track-record in attracting and delivering large-scale complex international events.
  • World-class SSE Hydro Arena to attract large-scale international music, culture and sports events – ranked top in Billboard’s Top 10 Venues Index and 3rd in the ‘top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues’ by Pollstar.
  • Glasgow attracted 2.2 million visitors in 2015 and generated £576 million in GVA (roughly 16% of the Scottish tourism total).
  • Conference Capital of Scotland, 2nd only to London in attracting international conference delegates to the UK – ranked 28th out of 400 conference cities globally by the International Conference and Congress Association (ICCA). Apart from London, no other UK city is in the top 30.
  • The United States (US) is Glasgow’s largest overseas market, followed by Germany and France.
  • Glasgow was the UK’s fifth-most-visited city in 2015 by international tourists and ranks ahead of Liverpool, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Leeds, York, Cardiff and Newcastle. 
  • In 2015, the majority of international tourists cited holidaying (54%) as the reason for their trip, while almost a quarter visited friends and family (24%) and (18%) were business travellers.
  • In 2015, international tourists stayed in Glasgow for 3.4 million nights while UK visitors stayed for 3.9 million nights. On average, international visitors stay for 5.2 nights whilst UK visitors stay for 2.7 nights.

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