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28 . Glasgow Business September/October 2013


TOURISM


Record travel figures as visitor numbers soar


Glasgow Airport is flying high in its contribution to the city’s tourism R


ecently released figures reveal the scale of the contribution that Glasgow Airport makes to tourism in the city region and to Scotland as a


whole. Over the peak summer months of travel –


June, July and August – 2.4 million passengers passed through its doors, making it the busiest summer period since 2008. Te month of August, which is traditionally


aſter the Glasgow summer holiday peak, saw 746,000 passengers pass through its doors, an increase of 6 per cent compared to the same month last year. Te increase is due to a powerful mix of


airlines adding extra capacity and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau’s success in promoting the inbound tourism potential of the city and atracting major events and conferences along with the increased performance of the airport itself. Te growth in August is a good example of


the power of these partnerships with events such as the World Pipe Band Championship and the UDO World Street Dance Championships and airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, KLM and Wizz Air all reporting an increase in demand. Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of


Glasgow Airport, said: “We enjoyed an extremely busy summer with more than 125,000 additional passengers using the airport during June, July and August compared to same period last year. “Not only was it our busiest summer in five


years, it was one of our best in terms of operational performance. Despite the significant increase in numbers and a host of large scale events, 99.4 per cent of our passengers passed through security in less than 10 minutes during the summer months.” Te good news for the airport continued


into September with an announcement from Icelandair, one of the airport’s longest serving airlines, that it is responding to increased demand with the addition of an extra weekly service in 2014. Icelandair will add a fiſth weekly flight to its


Glasgow to Reykjavik service starting Monday 7 April 2014. It will be the second consecutive year the


Managing Director, Amanda McMillan and Hjorvar Saeberg


Hognason from Icelandair


airline has added capacity at Glasgow and the fiſth weekly flight will increase Icelandair’s seat capacity from Glasgow by an extra 7,500 departing seats per year. Te US and Canada are Glasgow’s second


and third largest international markets. Collectively, they account for almost 100,000 visitors to the city each year, generating around £37 million for the local economy. Events such as the 2014 Commonwealth


Games, the Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland are expected to provide a further boost to what is already a popular service. Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of


Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “Specifically, over the coming months GCMB


will be working closely with Icelandair and Glasgow Airport to implement joint marketing campaigns in Boston and Halifax aimed at highlighting the ease of access to Glasgow and Scotland for visitors from the eastern seaboard and North America.” North America is not the only market being


targeted for inbound tourists – both easyJet and Jet2.com have added extra capacity on their respective Amsterdam and Barcelona routes in response to Celtic FC’s progress in the Champions League. Te airport’s continuing investment


programme will also see International Arrivals and other parts of the main terminal receiving a major makeover as it prepares to be the gateway to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


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