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Glasgow strikes tourism gold as Games draws to a close

Press release   •   Aug 02, 2014 00:01 BST

Glasgow’s tourism industry will be one of the biggest winners of the XX Commonwealth Games, according to VisitScotland.

The national tourism organisation said that hotels and restaurants have experienced some of their busiest days on record, with many businesses expecting the ‘Games effect’ to bring more visitors to the city and several visitors reporting a desire to extend their stay in Glasgow or return again in future.

Meanwhile a recent survey revealed that up to 100,000 spectators are combining their Glasgow experience with a longer trip around Scotland, meaning the benefits of the Games could also be felt right across the country. It is expected Edinburgh, which is currently hosting its world-famous festival will be a particular draw for visitors.

But in Glasgow the party is far from over. The city is in the midst of a spectacular summer with a range of exhibitions and events, such as the Magners Summer Nights Festival at the Kelvingrove Bandstand, or the Taste of the Tattoo in George Square, ensuring visitors will have plenty to see and do now that the Games are over.

The XX Commonwealth Games saw Glasgow enjoy some of the busiest days in its history, with an estimated 700,000 visitors and spectators attending the ‘Big Weekend’ and around 1.2 million ticket purchased.

The host city has also attracted global praise for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, with Scotland’s famous hospitality emerging as one of big stories of the Games.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Glasgow has delivered one of the best ever Commonwealth Games, but while the sport draws to an end, the party is set to continue with some visitors extending their stay to enjoy the many amazing things that Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of the country has to offer.“Over the past 10 days, there has been an incredible buzz in Glasgow -the city is packed, the venues are exceptional and the hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes are enjoying one of their busiest ever summers.  But it’s the people that will help ensure Glasgow benefits long after the Games end. It is the people of Glasgow that visitors, athletes and the media are talking about and it will be their warmth, passion and enthusiasm that is remembered.  The most important ingredient of Scottish Tourism is our people.  It's the warmth of our welcome that encourages millions to visit from all over the world, and come back and see us time and time again.

Ryan James, Chairman of Glasgow Restaurant Association, said: ”The impact of the Games on Glasgow’s restaurants has been incredible, particularly around George Square and the Merchant City where visitors have been enjoying the atmosphere whilst sampling the local cuisine. Last Saturday many restaurants had their busiest day on record and there is a real sense of positivity within the city that the benefits of hosting such a big event will continue to be felt, not just in the short term, but for a very long time to come.

“Glasgow has proved to be a revelation to so many visitors who have come here for the Games. Visitors not just from far afield either - we've had people from just outside Glasgow or from other cities, who have been surprised and delighted by how fantastic and vibrant Glasgow is.  This is Glasgow's time to shine; it's a proud moment for the city and for all the partners who have worked so hard to achieve this.”


For further information contact:

Louise Purves

Corporate Press Officer

Tel: 0131 472 2052

Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986

Notes to Editors:

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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