The Glasgow City Region tourism strategy launched

The eight Glasgow City Region councils have pledged to work together to boost tourist numbers to the west of Scotland by an additional 1million over the next five years, enhancing overall visitor experience and growing spend.

The Glasgow City Region Tourism Strategy 2018 – 2023 was agreed at Cabinet on 14th August 2018 by leaders of the eight Glasgow City Region councils.

It forms part of the collaborative work being delivered through the joint Glasgow City Region economic strategy, launched last year, which set out a range of measures to grow the economy, jobs and business.

Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, is the portfolio lead for tourism and destination marketing.

Launching the strategy, he said: “The councils involved in the wider city region are making a commitment to work together to boost tourism for the benefit of all of our areas.

“The Glasgow City Region tourism strategy is a starting point in working together across the region to make sure that what we individually offer is part of a bigger offer to visitors.

“That’s got benefits for each council area, for the wider region and for Scotland as a tourism and visitor location of choice.

“In Inverclyde we have an ambitious infrastructure project as part of the city deal to deliver a new berthing and visitor facility at Greenock Ocean Terminal. The aim of this is ensure that we do our bit to make sure that our welcome to Inverclyde, to the wider city region and to Scotland is as good as it can be.

“Tourists and visitors to each of our areas do not recognise boundaries and neither should we. At the heart of the Glasgow City Region tourism strategy is a commitment to work across boundaries and ensure that visits are seamless, consistent and high quality no matter where you visit across the region.

“The vision of the tourism strategy is to build a strong, inclusive, competitive and outward-looking tourism sector, which delivers high quality, value for money and memorable visitor experiences by skilled and passionate people.”

The strategy was developed in collaboration with a number of partners, including, representatives from each of the 8 city region councils and from a number of other partner organisations including Scottish Enterprise, Visit Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance and Glasgow Convention Bureau.

Glasgow City Region Cabinet Chair and Glasgow City Council Leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: “This is an ambitious target, but the commitment that Glasgow City Region partners have made to work together and with national agencies provides a strong platform for the city, the region and Scotland as tourist destinations. Glasgow might have an established record of attracting visitors, but every part of the region has its own strengths and bringing those offers together will ultimately benefit us all.”

The Glasgow City Region is one of the largest city regions in the UK.

Well-connected globally, with access to two international airports and nationally to extensive rail and road infrastructure, it provides 33 per cent of the nation’s jobs and is home to over 29 per cent of Scottish businesses.

Among the actions set out in the Glasgow City Region tourism strategy, the councils will establish a city region culture group to promote and maximise existing cultural assets.

A regional events and festivals forum will be established to map and co-ordinate a programme of events to develop new and existing audiences.

A new outdoor activities group will also aim to identify themes that will allow cross-boundary activities.

Local area tourism partnership representatives across the city region will be encouraged to join together with council tourism leads as part of a new city region tourism leadership group as a sounding board for delivery of the strategy over the five year programme.

Anticipated benefits from the Tourism Strategy include:

  • Further growth, employment and income for tourism businesses;
  • Wide range of tourism offerings across the City Region which are stronger through closer collaboration and shared working;
  • Helps build a strong network of business, sector and interest groups sharing a common purpose to grow the tourism economy;
  • Increase the value of tourism; length of stay and extend the season by ‘packaging’ a wider City Region offering and a more memorable experience;
  • More cross-referencing and cross-selling of local and regional products and events

A supporting Tourism Action Plan sets out a series of activities, some of which are already being progressed in line with agreed timescales, including activities to improve overall visitor experience and to widen opportunities from existing events and festivals across the 8 council areas.