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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 18/10/2022

Introduction from Ken Massie, Head of Regional Leadership and Development

Head and shoulders image of Ken Massie It has been fantastic to see the return of domestic and international visitors to Glasgow City Region over the summer months, as well as a packed calendar of concerts and live events. As we approach the autumn and winter season, we will continue to work with partners in our tourism and events industry on promoting activity that extends the season and ensuring Scotland and Glasgow remains front of mind for potential visitors.   

The countdown’s on to the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships, taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland next year, presenting a great opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland to the world again, as well as the many local businesses around the venues benefiting also. 

We’re prioritising activities that will stimulate demand and new bookings for the industry to support its long-term recovery with more details in the update below.   

We know that many businesses are facing difficult decisions and are having to consider how they adapt their operations to manage the cost challenges. We would encourage you to visit our industry website for all the latest industry advice, support and guidance and we will bring you news on industry events taking place in the region.   This includes advice on how sustainable business practices can reduce your costs, getting the most of your digital offering and how to find the right business support.  

We also want to take the opportunity to celebrate our tourism and events industry who have worked tirelessly in the past two years. The return of the Scottish Thistle Awards regional finals later this month offers us the chance to do this and I would like to wish all those shortlisted the very best of luck.   


Helping visitors to discover Glasgow City Region 


Waking up to Glasgow with Caledonian Sleeper

Travelling overnight and waking up refreshed and ready to explore everything Glasgow and the surrounding region has to offer was the focus of a new summer campaign from Caledonian Sleeper and VisitScotland. Promoting London to Glasgow, the campaign used a mix of creative video content and influencer activity with Postcards by Hannah, who travelled on the sleeper train before taking her followers on a packed two-day visit in Glasgow, visiting attractions and venues including Mackintosh at the Willow, Spiritualist cocktail bar and the City Chambers. 

  • Promoting Glasgow with inspiring content

    As well as our partnership with Caledonian Sleeper, our marketing teams have delivered new campaigns and partnerships to highlight everything the region has to offer:

    • Glasgow's music scene is being featured in the next phase of the award-winning Scotland is Calling campaign which kicked off in September. The campaign's main video aims to attract visitors with the best of Scotland so it's no surprise Glasgow music venues and the crowds they attract make an appearance. 
    • Influencers The Adventure Addicts visited Glasgow as part of a US press trip and partnership between VisitScotland and GoPro to promote the new GoPro 11 camera. Sharing content across their own channels as well as GoPro global channels meant Scotland and Glasgow was shared with over 22.1 million followers.
    • Influencers Flying the Nest teamed up to support a campaign with VisitScotland and CalMac Ferries and their itinerary included a couple of nights in Glasgow where they documented their visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Hidden Lane Tearooms, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow University and the Duke's Umbrella.
  • Read about Glasgow City Region in the press

    Between July and September, our consumer PR team promoted Glasgow City Region to audiences in the UK, Europe , North America and China and Emerging markets:

    • In UK media, the team secured coverage of Lunderston Bay in Inverkip in a feature on beaches to enjoy over the summer, Pollok Country Park and the Burrell Collection for our Days Out campaign and GlasGlow events for 'Cosy upto Autumn' content.
    • In European coverage, a TV crew from France 2 came to Glasgow and included a visit to The Bothy restaurant as part of a piece on the kilt, the city was featured in Femme Actuelle and Le Figaro following a press trip in May and the team hosted two journalists in Glasgow from German magazines EMOTION and Country Homes with articles to follow in the coming months.
    • For the North American audience, our PR team supported two adventure journalists who explored Scotland's canals and the Glasgow to Edinburgh canoe trail, starting with the Forth & Clyde. One highlight from this coverage was a feature in The Smithsonian, an online publication with over 2.7 million unique visitors per month. An article on things to do in the Glasgow area was also covered in Celebrity Cruises' blog including several walks and trails to explore in and around Glasgow including Dumgoyne Hill, Govan Hill Heritage Trail and Darnley Country Park.
  • Inspiring visitors with new content on is our website for visitors to find inspiration for their next trip to Scotland. Check out some of the newest content featuring Glasgow City Region:

  • Scotland's Witch Map Trail

    To mark Scotland's Year of Stories 2022, we launched a brand-new trail exploring Scotland's tales of witchcraft. With a downloadable guide, vistitors can visito 15 unique locations including The Root of Magic and Glasgow Women's Library.

    Download the map

Travel trade discover Glasgow once again

Tourism businesses have been able to host in-person travel trade familiarisation trips for the first time since the pandemic in Glasgow.

A group of around 30 tour operators, travel agents and destination management companies from the UK and key North American, European and Asian markets visited the Glasgow City Region as part of VisitScotland's travel trade event Discover Scotland 2022, in addition to the online business-to-business event earlier in the year.

Based at voco Grand Central Hotel, delegates learned about Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music as well as visited attractions and venues including the Riverside Museum, Clydeside Distillery and Ubiquitous Chip.

Cyclist passing Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Cyclist passing Riverside Museum in Glasgow

Catch up with Glasgow's iCentre team

Celebrating the best in the business with Scottish Thistle Awards

The regional shortlist for this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards has been announced and it’s a fantastic line up highlighting the strength and depth of Scotland's tourism & events industry.

Accommodation providers, visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants, events and individuals the length and breadth of the country are in the running for a 2022/23 Scottish Thistle Award. Congratulations to all the businesses shortlisted in the Glasgow City Region:

  • About Us at Paisley Abbey (Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival)
  • Red Sky Bar, Radisson Red Hotel (Best Bar or Pub)
  • Mharsanta (Best Eatery Experience)
  • Glasgow Science Centre (Best Visitor Attraction Experience)
  • Once Upon a Whisky (Food Tourism Award)
  • Celtic Connections (Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival)
  • TRNSMT (Outstanding Cultural Event or Festival)
  • Graham Chambers, Radisson Red Glasgow (Tourism Hospitality Hero)

See the full shortlist at the Thistles website

Coach Tourism Association Event

In July, Glasgow welcomed the Coach Tourism Association (CTA) to the city for their annual Summer Networking event, the first time the CTA has come to Scotland for one of their events. 

Hosted by VisitScotland and the CTA, with support from Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council, the event delegates were treated to an action-packed itinerary with visits to the Riverside Museum, Clydeside Distillery, the Burrell Collection and Pollok House. 

The event was a fantastic opportunity to show CTA members exactly why Glasgow is renowned as an extremely accessible, warm and welcoming destination. 

As well as showcasing the city, the event also allowed tourism partners to promote Scottish coach-friendly product to a range of UK coach tour operators and wholesalers. 

The CTA is the only UK-wide membership organisation for coach tour operators and Scottish suppliers who cater for coach tour visitors.

Gearing up for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

August marked one year to go until the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023 hits town next year, and was celebrated with a programme of awareness-raising activity for residents and visitors alike. 

An eye-catching cycling demonstration at George Square highlighted the unique bikes of the various disciplines that will be part of the event, and a countdown clock was unveiled in Glasgow Central Station to raise awareness amongst travellers. 

In September, the volunteer recruitment drive was launched at Glasgow’s Kelvin Way, with tennis coach Judy Murray, STV weather presenter Sean Batty and medal-winning track cyclist Jack Carlin getting on their bikes as they were announced as the Official Volunteer Champions.

Jack Carlin, Judy Murray and Sean Batty launch the volunteer programme for the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023

Jack Carlin, Judy Murray and Sean Batty at Kelvin Way

In other news...

Some other new activity and updates from across the region include:

  • Renfrewshire Council received funding towards its Lochwinnoch Boardwalks project to help manage visitor pressure at the nature reserve.
  • Shawlands in the Southside of Glasgow was named in Time Out Magazine as one of the coolest neighbourhoods to visit in the world right now.
  • Finnieston venue SWG3 made headlines for its innovative approach to create renewable energy through collecting body heat from people dancing in the venue.

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