Glasgow convention bureaux have cautiously welcomed calls for the two cities to
join forces to boost tourism numbers.
The bureaux hinted
closer alliances could be established between them, with Convention Edinburgh
saying there is "clear opportunity" to work closer with Glasgow, but
neither bureaux have directly supported the idea.
Dr Mike Cantlay,
outgoing chair of VisitScotland, said last week that combining Edinburgh and
Glasgow would be the biggest thing to grow the tourism sector in Scotland.
He said: “I always
look for the biggest hits that make the most profound change. The single
biggest transformation, that is creeping day-by-day, is the coming together of
Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“The two cities are
getting closer and closer from a tourism perspective. The two cities are
totally different, but the transport times are coming down minute by minute.
There is now no real distinction between where you stay and what you do between
the two cities.”
It comes after
Glasgow reported its best ever conference year in 2015, while Edinburgh's
international conference numbers doubled from 2014.
head of business tourism at Convention Edinburgh, said: "As the host
cities for the majority of all business tourism events and conferences that
take place in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow have a long history of working
together to promote our unique, but complementary offerings.
“Each city has its
own strengths and appeal. For Edinburgh, our world leading reputation in
science, finance, culture and history. Regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Edinburgh
is also the home of four universities and globally recognised research hubs. We
have access to an incredible network of academics and experts through our
Edinburgh Ambassador programme, 20 years old this year.
differentiation means sometimes Edinburgh best fits the brief for conference
organisers, sometimes its Glasgow. But crucially we are bringing these
international association meetings to Scotland and showcasing what as a
wonderful, authentic experience our country can offer delegates.
“With the current
infrastructure improvements underway connecting both cities, there is clear
opportunity for us to work closer together to promote Scotland as a world
leading business tourism destination, for the benefit of all."
Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "We have big
ambitions for the years ahead, with business tourism at the heart of this
“Having founded the
first Conference Ambassador Programme in the UK and growing the pool of
influential individuals in the programme to more than 1700, Glasgow is proud to
work with academics spanning the country.
academics play a key role in the programme and we look forward to continuing to
work in partnership with them to attract large international congresses to
Glasgow and to Scotland.”
The bureaux will
co-host an education session, A Tale of Two Cities, at IMEX Frankfurt next