Destination COP

Glasgow City Region tourism industry gathers to secure legacy

As COP26 approaches, and Glasgow fast becomes a global byword for action against the climate crisis, tourism businesses from across the Glasgow City Region are being invited to an industry gathering to seize the moment and plan a path towards becoming a more responsible visitor destination.

VisitScotland and Glasgow Life have joined forces to stage an industry conference at the voco Grand Central Hotel on 6 October, an event designed to arm businesses with all they need to know to make achievable, practical steps on sustainability.

‘Destination COP’ will be the first in-person meeting of the City Region tourism industry since before the pandemic. The Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, will set the agenda by speaking on the social and economic recovery of the city, and the opportunity of hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

Businesses will hear from VisitScotland’s new Director of Industry & Destination Development, Rob Dickson, chair of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), about the support for the industry to be a leader in responsible tourism.

Attendees can get inspiration and guidance on areas of specific interest through themed breakout sessions, and a networking marketplace providing a range of information and support via one-to-one access to partner agencies, including Green Tourism, Glasgow Convention Bureau and the COP26 Get Ready Glasgow team.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken said:

“Tourism, Conferences and Events have a key role to play in driving sustainability and growth in Glasgow’s economy; creating jobs, adding vibrancy, enhancing our city centre, and helping to improve health and wellbeing.

2019 saw the publication of the mid-term review of the Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023, supporting our city through a strong, sustainable tourism sector. The Mid-term Review took place at a strategically important time, both for tourism in Scotland and in terms of the way that tourism is managed and marketed in cities around the world.

Despite the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the sector there remains a significant demand from tourism businesses across the industry, to know more, do more and contribute more towards Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions.”

VisitScotland’s Director of Industry & Destination Development, Rob Dickson said: “Well before the pandemic struck, Scotland had already set itself the ambition to become a world leader in 21st century tourism through a strategy of sustainable growth, with everyone playing an active role. That’s why sustainability was placed at the heart of the Glasgow Tourism & Visitor Plan to 2023.

“Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, it seems fitting that our first and greatest opportunity is hosting COP26. Environmental change is one of the biggest challenges facing our tourism and events sector. We’re asking the industry to prioritise responsible and sustainable growth.

“I look forward to meeting businesses from across the City Region to discuss the practical steps we can take so Scotland becomes a world-class destination, and the best destination for responsible tourism.

The event is open to businesses in the tourism and events industry in Glasgow, North and South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East and West Dunbartonshire. Those interested in attending can find out how to register by sending an email to [email protected]

The conference supports Glasgow’s recovery plan for tourism, developed following a review of the Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023. Sustainability is a guiding principle of this new Action Plan, which is led by the partnership of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, and available on the Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan website.

For further information contact: 
Andy Dewar, Regional Corporate Press Officer (west) | VisitScotland | M:07775542763 | E: [email protected]