It WAS a multi-million pound market for Glasgow’s tourism sector before Covid and now that restrictions are easing the city is preparing to attract visitors with a new campaign.
Glasgow Life, which manages the city’s cultural and leisure services, has teamed up with global travel website Expedia in a bid to attract more visitors from the United States, Canada and Germany which account for the most trips in the city.
The targeted marketing aims to inspire visitors from all three countries to consider a future trip to Glasgow.
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The initiative is being implemented in three of the city’s main international markets to help drive the recovery of Glasgow’s visitor economy from the impact of the pandemic. Before Covid, the US, Canada and Germany collectively accounted for 236,000 annual tourist trips to Glasgow and some £75million in visitor spending.
Glasgow wants to attract visitors from its key markets
Until the end of March this year, the digital campaign has been designed to raise awareness of the variety of cultural experiences that visitors can enjoy on a trip to Glasgow, as well as to reinforce the message that the city’s tourism and hospitality industry is open to business.
Directing potential visitors to dedicated ‘Glasgow hub’ landing pages on Expedia’s website for their country, the campaign promotes airline access and tickets, hotel deals and showcases several of the attractions and world-class tourism activities in the city, including the £68.25million renovation and reopening. from the Burrell Collection in March 2022.
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Glasgow Life’s campaign complements a national campaign, which is currently being run with Expedia by VisitScotland, to encourage more international visitors to consider Scotland in 2022. Glasgow Life and VisitScotland, together with Scottish Enterprise, are the partners collectively providing the Glasgow sightseeing and sightseeing map. to 2023.
Councilor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life and deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Before Covid, international tourism to Glasgow was at an all time high, with over 770,000 overseas visitors spending over £381m sterling in the city. The majority of our international tourists come from Europe and North America – in 2019 Glasgow attracted more North American visitors than Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, and almost as many as these three cities combined.
“It is therefore extremely important to our visitor economy, and the thousands of jobs it supports across all sectors of our tourism and hospitality sector, that we continue to promote the city’s world-class cultural profile on our main international markets. And as one of the world’s largest and most trusted travel platforms, Expedia is the perfect partner to help us amplify our reach and engagement with potential visitors through this joint campaign.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of the city’s top tourist attractions
Before the pandemic, international tourism to Glasgow hit a record high in 2019 – attracting 771,000 overseas visitors, with record spending of £381m, a 9% increase on the previous year.
International spending exceeded the Scottish average in 2019; Nationally, spending rose 7% year-on-year to £2.5bn.
In the same year, the city welcomed 2.5 million national and international visitors, generating an associated expenditure of £774 million for the local economy.
City businesses that support and are featured as part of the Glasgow Life campaign include: Hampden Park Stadium and Museum Tour; Visit to the Celtic Park stadium; Willow Mackintosh; Visit to Tennent’s Brewery; Town tour ; Walking tours in Glasgow; Red Bus Bistro; and Discover Scotland Tours. A number of leading city hotels also offer discounts via website links.
The Burrell Collection is set to reopen to the public next month
Councilor McDonald added: “Last year Glasgow was named by influential travel publication Condé Nast Traveler as the best city break destination in the UK, and at the same time we have again been voted the World’s Friendliest City by Rough Guides. From the nearly £70 million renovation and re-display of our iconic Burrell Collection, which reopens in March, to our UNESCO City of Music credentials, or our exceptional galleries and attractions, our architectural heritage, our thriving dining offering and diverse and the warmth of our welcome, there are plenty of good reasons to visit Glasgow this year.”
Jim Clarkson, Regional Leadership Manager (West), VisitScotland said: “Through our national marketing activity with Expedia, we have encouraged visitors to consider Scotland as their destination of choice when making future travel plans. We work closely with Glasgow Life on international marketing campaigns and this activity will build on recent success where Glasgow was the second most popular destination in bookings from the US, based on number total gross nights booked through the online travel agency.
“The city’s recovery from the pandemic is essential for Scotland’s tourism economy as a whole and we continue to work with our partners on key campaigns promoting Glasgow as a UNESCO City of Music and the return from the Burrell Collection in March.”