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31/12/13 00:01

Scotland ready to welcome the world

Tourism industry to benefit from bumper year of activity

Scotland’s tourism industry is set to benefit from a multi-million boost during 2014 as the country takes to the global stage, playing host to the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) and Scotland’s second year of Homecoming.

The Commonwealth Games will be the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has ever hosted and, with over 90 per cent of available public tickets already sold, the early demand has not only exceeded all expectations, it has surpassed all previous Commonwealth Games. The legacy of the Games is already being felt with around 30,000 jobs supported as a result of Glasgow 2014 procurement.

Around 75 per cent of contracts for the Games have gone to Scottish firms, generating around £250 million for the economy. This is in addition to £1 billion worth of transport infrastructure which is helping to open up Glasgow and West Central Scotland to further economic opportunities.

The Ryder Cup is due to attract more than 250,000 spectators over the course of the week, with Homecoming 2014 expected to bring in around 70,000 visitors and at least £44m in additional economic benefit to Scotland. The MTV EMA will also showcase Glasgow and Scotland to nearly 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels.

Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, Stirling, Stonehaven, Biggar and Inverness will kick off the Year of Homecoming, with other key events throughout the year including the John Muir Festival that will involve countless communities in a celebration of this great Scot’s life and legacy; the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in June and the Highland Homecoming, celebrating contemporary Highland culture, including the Inverness Highland Meeting, Masters World Championships and culminating with Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail - The Royal National Mòd.

Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing said:

“During 2014 we will see two of the world’s biggest showcase sporting events and one of the world’s biggest showcase music events coming to Scotland as well as our second Year of Homecoming.

“The momentous year in Scottish history will not only position us on the international stage as a dynamic and creative country, it will also significantly boost our already buoyant tourism sector.

“Every tourism event attracts a potential new business or leisure guest – and provides more jobs and investment. We are already seeing the benefit of this through the 30,000 jobs supported as a result of the Commonwealth Games.

“The legacy of the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, MTV EMA and Homecoming 2014 will also be felt for years to come through the boost the events will give to the Scottish economy, through the local jobs created and through the improved infrastructure created.

“Our vision is for a world class tourism experience. This is why the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 has named Scotland as the third best country to visit in 2014 citing Scotland’s jam-packed schedule of world-class events as reasons to visit in the coming year.

“CNN also included Edinburgh in its list of ‘Ten Best Cities for a Winter Vacation’, an accolade which recognises that Edinburgh has a great deal to offer visitors all year round – from its stunning vistas to its diverse range of historic and interesting attractions.

“2014 is a chance of a lifetime for everyone – from taxi drivers and shop assistants to hoteliers and restaurateurs – to play their part in extending the warmest welcome to guests from near and far.

“We will continue to work with VisitScotland and our enterprise agencies to build on this growth throughout 2014 and beyond.”