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Glasgow can hold its own with Fringe

  • Date: Monday 19th August 2019
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In a week when Edinburgh Festival Fringe was named the top experience in the UK by Lonely Planet, spare a thought for Glasgow. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I’m obviously thrilled our capital city is being recognised by this prestigious travel guide – and rightly so – but Glasgow by no means plays second fiddle. 

 

The Fringe is the only Scottish experience to feature in the top 10 in the Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, with Arthur’s Seat and Glencoe edging into the top 20.

 

And while I was proud to see them and the likes of Skara Brae, the Royal Mile, the North Coast 500, the Cairngorms and the Fairy Pools of Skye make it into the top 50, there was sadly no sign of our Dear Green Place in the top flight.  

 

Doesn’t the Barras deserve its place among the frontrunners, or Celtic Connections? And what about Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s legacy across the city? I could name 50 top experiences in Glasgow alone, not to mention the countless others across Scotland. I don't envy the people who were tasked with putting the 500-strong longlist together. 

 

As far as cultural experiences go, Glasgow is brimming with them – and, by all accounts, people are lapping them up. 

 

Just last week, culture body Glasgow Life released its 2018 visitor figures, showing a staggering 19 million visits to its venues last year – a record-breaking total. 

 

Visiting attractions like Dippy the dinosaur were a draw for visitors, but permanent destinations like the Riverside Museum also saw booming traffic. Even the city’s 33 libraries recorded 4.7million visits. 

 

And while it might not have the Fringe, Glasgow is certainly not short of large scale events. 

 

I've mentioned the annual Celtic Connections music festival already. But it's not the only fixture with an international pull. A sight to behold, the World and Pipe Band Championships just wrapped up at the weekend – an event which draws pipers from around the world to the Glasgow Green each year.

 

And despite its infamous weather, the city even has its own outdoor summer music festival, TRNSMT. I could go on – from Bellahouston Park still ringing to the sounds of the Foo Fighters and The Cure after more successful Summer Sessions, and the Hydro continuing to welcome the world’s best acts.   

 

There are some impressive events lined up over the next year, too, including a number of sporting tournaments on their way to the city. And plans are afoot for even further down the line.

 

The city will bid for the title of European Capital of Sport 2023, and it certainly stands a chance of scooping it. Glasgow was the proud of host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games after all. If it succeeds, it will become the first location to hold the title twice. Wouldn’t that be quite the coup? 

 

Everyone loves an underdog, and I’m happy to report this underdog is quietly booming. 

Each and every one of the city’s events and attractions has the potential to be a big earner for Glasgow and the wider Scottish economy, with a knock-on effect across a number of sectors, from hospitality to construction, and beyond. 

 

So keep doing your thing, Glasgow - yer punchin!  

 

SIDE

 

Optimism and perseverance are key traits for young people looking to plant their feet firmly on the career ladder. 

 

But it seems that youngsters across Scotland are looking to the far-flung future before they leap - as almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds believe that their dream job isn’t one that currently exists.

 

Due to the constant evolution of technology and the sheer velocity that it’s advancing at on an almost day-to-day basis, younger workers across Scotland are hoping to jump on approaching employment bandwagons and learn new skills in order to ‘future-proof’ themselves.

 

The survey, which discovered that 47 per cent of UK youngsters, was ran by defence tech firm BAE Systems.

 

It assembled a time-travelling team of futurists and technologists who looked at what sort of careers will be available 30 or 40 years down the line.

 

BAE Systems highlighted maths, history, and philosophy as some of the useful subjects for students to carry through to emerging sectors in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics, in turn opening the door to boundless career opportunities for Scotland.

 

Despite this forward-thinking optimism however, only one in five surveyed believed that they were fully equipped to enter this new cyber age.

 

It’s up to Scottish businesses, colleges and universities to spearhead this change by ensuring that skills such as virtual reality development and programming continue to be a key focus in growth, not only for students and younger workers, but for the country as whole.

 

LAUGH

I’m always on the lookout for any Scottish businesses coming up with promotional ideas that strike the right chord.

One such company this past week was popular Scottish musical instrument chain guitarguitar, which clearly has a keen ear for PR opportunities. 

Playing to the crowd of left-handed players across Glasgow and Edinburgh over the past weekend, the stores offered free guitar lessons for beginners keeping ‘tabs’ on last week’s International Left-Handed Day.

It can sometimes be easy for brands to hammer on about all sorts of awareness days, but hand-picking the right approach can sometimes be the best way to pull off something genuinely engaging. 

Fingers crossed, something like this can kick-start the career of Scotland’s next left-handed musical maestro.


WEEP

Not to be a doom and gloom merchant at the very start of the week, but figures from the National Records of Scotland recently announced that the country has the lowest life expectancy in the UK.

Although it’s easy to crack jokes about deep fried mars bars and mega-calorie munchie boxes, it is a little disheartening to hear after life expectancy figures had previously been on the rise.

It isn’t quite a return to the dark ages with men on average expected to reach 77 years and women slightly older at 81.1 years.

The unwanted title is mostly due to drug-related deaths and Scotland’s ongoing battle with heart disease.

The worst part is how marked the regional differences are when it comes to something as fundamental as mortality.

 

 

 

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