The XX Commonwealth Games has been credited with leaving a lasting legacy on Scotland’s £1bn events industry, with nine world-class sporting and cultural events coming to Scotland in 2015 alone.
Newly constructed or refurbished Games venues have helped VisitScotland, under its events directorate EventScotland, attract major sporting competitions including the IPC Swimming World Championships (July) to the redeveloped Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the EJU European Judo Championships (April) to the new Emirates’ Area and the World Gymnastics Championships 2015 (October) to the SSE Hydro.
But the benefit of the Games legacy will be felt far beyond Glasgow, with major events like the FEI European Eventing Championships coming to Perthshire (September), the Open Championship returning to St Andrews in Fife (July), the Women‘s British Open being held at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire (July/August), and the World Orienteering Championships taking place in the Highlands (August).
Scotland will also host a number of major cultural events including the Turner Prize (Nov/Dec) and the World Pipe Band Championships (August) both in Glasgow.
Meanwhile 14 conferences, supported by the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, have already been confirmed for 2015, attracting nearly 20,000 business delegates to cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen and potentially bringing over £30 million to the economy.
The huge success of Glasgow 2014, which saw 1.2 million tickets sold, plus investment in infrastructure and skills, has helped position Scotland as a country capable of delivering high-quality sporting, cultural and business experiences.
As well as attracting thousands of visitors, these events are expected to generate significant economic impacts, helping Scotland’s tourism industry achieve its target of bringing an extra £1bn in tourism expenditure to Scotland by 2020.
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Glasgow 2014 has been hugely successful, the XX Commonwealth Games has brought around 6500 athletes and team officials from across the world, together with their support teams, friends and family. Scotland has welcomed them all in the true spirit of a nation which is modern, inclusive and global in its outlook.
“The Games show that Scotland is the place to be, with over 300 events still to take place as part of the Homecoming 2014 programme in the upcoming months as well as The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next month and the MTV Europe Music Awards.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The XX Commonwealth Games was a game-changer for Scotland’s tourism industry. Not only did it showcase Scotland to the world, it showed a global audience of over a billion, that Scotland has the facilities, infrastructure and the skills to deliver world-class events to the highest standards.
“We now have the capacity, confidence and capability to ensure that Scotland becomes serious contender in attracting more major events and it all starts with our world-class 2015 programme.”
Paul Bush O.B.E, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: ‘‘Glasgow and Scotland have delivered an exceptional Commonwealth Games and on behalf of EventScotland I would like to thank everyone who has been involved during these past seven years. Welcoming the Commonwealth Games to the country was a huge milestone for the Scottish events industry but what happens after this is vital. The last two weeks have been an international game changer for Glasgow and Scotland and truly demonstrates that Scotland is The Perfect Stage for events. We will take this opportunity to look ahead, and grow Scotland’s portfolio of major events beyond 2014.’’