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Article published 15/03/2024

Meet our new Regional Director for Glasgow City Region, Lynne Cooper. Her regional area represents eight local authorities: Glasgow City; North and South Lanarkshire; Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire; Inverclyde; East and West Dunbartonshire. 


Can you tell us a little about your career?

Before joining VisitScotland, I was with the national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, for 12 years and managed stakeholder and partnership relationships across Forth Valley and Fife.

In addition, I was involved in large-scale investment projects including the Edinburgh BioQuarter, a leading global destination for healthcare, medical research and life sciences innovation and entrepreneurship. Prior to Scottish Enterprise, I held roles with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

Lynne Cooper, Regional Director for Glasgow City Region

What attracted you to the tourism industry?

Scotland boasts universal appeal as a destination for visitors, whether it's our natural landscapes, vibrant cities or experiences. The sector is an important part of the Scottish economy, sustaining a variety of business activities and employment opportunities across Scotland and supporting our local communities.

The role itself offers lots of scope to make significant impact to the visitor economy, as well as contributing to the creation of a world class tourism experience. 

I grew up in the area and it's well known for being an exciting and vibrant area for leisure. Some of my favourite places to visit include Chatelherault Country park near Hamilton and the Falls of Clyde at New Lanark. You also can't beat a visit to Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery or enjoying the many restaurants and bars in the city centre or the west end.

What's your new role at VisitScotland?

My role is to lead our exisiting and future strategic engagement, both at City Region and individual local authority level. That involves many stakeholder relationships including the Regional Economic partnership itself, the Glasgow Tourism Partnership (the city's senior strategy group) as well as its industry counterpart, the Glasgow Tourism & Events Group, plus other visitor economy-related groups.

A key priority is to ensure that the visitor economy is strategically positioned within regional and local plans to deliver local priorities which support national economic objectives as stated in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) and Scotland Outlook 2030.


This can only be achieved by working effectively with a wide range of partners and stakeholders such as local authorities, enterprise agencies, destinations, sectoral and industry associations and key businesses. 

I also work with my colleagues across various teams and directorates to provide an interface between external local and regional priorities and organisational plans and activities. The Regional Director works to support the responsible growth of the visitor economy and in doing so, seek to balance the needs of businesses, visitors and local communities within the area. 

What have the first few months in the job been like?

Busy! But very enjoyable. I've particularly liked getting out and about and meeting with stakeholders including the team at Glasgow Life, members of the Glasgow Tourism and Events Group and the Greater Glasgow Hoteliers Association, as well as industry visits to Cameron House on Loch Lomond and Mar Hall Resort in Bishopton.

I've now met with the majority of local authority partners with remaining introductory meetings continuing this month. I've also enjoyed learning about the business and building my knowledge of activity delivered across the organisation.

L-R: Claire Gaspar, Industry Relationship manager at VisitScotland, Stuart Orr, Director of Sales at Cameron House and Lynne Cooper, Regional Director, VisitScotland

What are your priorities for the year ahead?

With my background in economic development, I appreciate businesses are continuing to face a challenging operating environment and our team are here to help in any way we can.

It's been positive to hear about the numbers of international visitors coming to Scotland and our focus is to use our marketing, partnership work, and business support activities to encourage all visitors to stay longer and spend more all-year round in the Glasgow City Region. The Glasgow 2030 Tourism Strategy – launched in October last year, sets out a framework for growing the value of the city’s visitor economy by delivering for visitors, businesses, communities and the environment.



A new tourism strategy has recently been approved for Renfrewshire – Renfrewshire’s Tourism Today 2024 – 2027 – which centres on key priorities including industry collaboration, building on Paisley’s strengths as a destination and rural tourism opportunities.

I’m also looking forward to working closely with partners and stakeholders to drive forward our priority for responsible tourism across the region. Over the past decade, Glasgow has grown as a world leader for sustainability, with the ambitious target for net zero by 2030, and a top 10 position in world sustainable destination rankings. That gives the whole of the City Region strong direction and leadership, and a head start on developing a distinctive responsible tourism proposition, way beyond the city boundaries.    

What are you most looking forward to?

After the success of last year’s UCI World Cycling Championships, Glasgow continues to prove itself as an expert deliverer of major international events, which is extremely exciting. Glasgow will be one of nine host cities across the UK and Ireland for the 2028 UEFA European Football Championships. 

This year we have the World Athletics Indoor Championships and the World Irish Dance Championships. Then there’s the 20th Glasgow Film Festival, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and an array of major music acts performing. This reinforces Glasgow’s legendary music scene, and its status as a UNESCO City of Music. There are also other annual favourites such as the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival in August and Paisley Halloween Festival in October. 

Several high-profile investments are set to open this year such as the restored and redeveloped Citizens Theatre and opening of The Wyllieum in Greenock, a new gallery celebrating the work and legacy of pioneering artist George Wyllie. Motto by Hilton are launching a new hotel on the banks of the River Clyde, marking the brand’s UK debut, and the luxurious Crossbasket Castle in South Lanarkshire has exciting expansion plans to include a new restaurant and spa, set to open this summer. 

World Indoor Athletics Championships Glasgow 2024, 800m Men's Race Friday 1 March 2024 Copyright: © Glasgow Life. All rights reserved.

Where have you enjoyed visiting in your own time in Scotland?

I recently stayed at the five-star luxury resort of Cameron House Hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire. As well as the exceptional quality facilities, the welcome and customer service I received really made it special, thanks to Resort Director Michael Lavizani and his team. It's a great example of the warm hospitality which I think stays in the mind of visitors after they leave.  

Part of what I enjoy about this area is it caters for so many types of visitors. Glasgow City Region offers world class museums, art collections, and a thriving cultural and creative scene, yet all within easy reach of breath-taking scenery, tranquility, nature and outdoor activities.  

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