Marlyn Glen MSP

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Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

MSP is to ask Visit Scotland to assess impact of Homecoming on Dundee

26 March 2009

Marlyn Glen is asking Visit Scotland if it is to examine the level of revenues from tourism in Dundee and Angus to see what specific impact the Homecoming festivities may have had upon the number of tourists.

Ms. Glen had already written to Enterprise Minister Jim Mather on the shortage of Homecoming-themed events locally.

She recalled that the objectives of Homecoming 2009 include the a sustainable boost for the local economy through tourism.

She asked the Minister how these objectives can then be sustained for the future with just two Homecoming-themed funded events taking place in Dundee and Angus.

In reply, Mr. Mather said,

“The Homecoming celebrations contribute towards our aim of increasing tourism revenue in Scotland by 50 per cent by 2015 as part of its main purpose of achieving sustainable economic growth for Scotland.

“One of the six points in the Scottish Government’s Economic Recovery Plan is to ” intensify and our support for Homecoming 2009 and boost tourism” , and this emphasises the important role that tourism plays in contributing towards our economic recovery.

“The Homecoming Scotland 2009 programme continues to develop.

“The “partner” programme aims to extend the established core programme of major events by providing in-kind support ( there is no direct funding)

“In order to develop this programme, Homecoming Scotland approached all local authorities providing an opportunity for any events with any relevant Homecoming activity as part of their event in 2009, and not already part of the Homecoming programme of events to register as a partner event.

“The response from the Dundee and Angus local council areas was very low and as such no events in Dundee and only two in Angus applied for partner status.

“However, in recent weeks the level of engagement from both local authorities has increased and a number of partner events will shortly come online.

“The Homecoming programme of events is constantly developing and there will be further opportunities for involvement particularly in relation to the Finale celebrations.”

Ms. Glen said, that she welcomed the Minister’s news that there will be some more local “partner events”

She commented,

” The difficulty with measuring the degree of success of Homecoming in providing long-term enhancement for the various local economies in Scotland is that many of its planned events already take place annually.

” Added to this is the scarcity of Homecoming-sponsored events locally resulting from its highly specific guidelines and priorities on the themes of Golf, Heritage, Whisky, Burns, Great Minds and Innovation.

” I shall be contacting Visit Scotland to see if it is to examine whether there have been any increase in revenues for tourism this year in the Dundee and Angus area.

” They are working on an 8-to-1 return on the £5 million that they have invested in Homecoming, and this should result in discernible increases in tourism locally if Homecoming has been a marked success.”

Ends

Notes to editor :

The source of the statement

“They (Visit Scotland) are working on an 8-to-1 return on the £5 million that they have invested in Homecoming, and this should result in discernible increases in tourism locally if Homecoming has been a marked success.”

Is the PQ below :

Homecoming Scotland
S3W-19785 – Lewis Macdonald (Aberdeen Central) (Lab) (Date Lodged Thursday, January 15, 2009): To ask the Scottish Executive what factors it will consider when evaluating Homecoming Scotland 2009.

Answered by Jim Mather (Friday, January 30, 2009): The main objective of Homecoming Scotland is to increase tourism revenues and VisitScotland is working to a target of an 8:1 return on the core funding; meaning that a £40 million increase in tourism revenues should be delivered. The Scottish Government is, however, confident that with all the additional activities and focus on homecoming across Scotland, this return will be exceeded.

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