£31m Glasgow Airport handles 30 airlines flying to more than 80 global destinations including Canada, the US and the Gulf. A £31m terminal extension, dubbed Skyhub, opened in October 2008 with centralised security, bars, shops, restaurants and extra seating. Skyhub is part of a £200m ten-year improvement package.
17,000 Glasgow has 17,000 beds spread across hotels for all budgets, from the 113-room Holiday Inn Theatreland and the 64-bed Carlton George, to the 930 comfortable beds at Glasgow University. Pharmaceutical firm Wyeth staged a sales conference at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel in September. This 296-room, four-star property has 13 meeting rooms, the largest being the Clyde Suite for 800 delegates. "It is in a great location, a five-minute walk from the city centre and an easy 15-minute transfer from Glasgow Airport," says Maritz project manager Lisa McArity.
6 For groups looking for luxury, there are six five-stars in Glasgow, providing a total of 855 rooms. Luxury incentive buyers should check out De Vere Cameron House, an 18th-century Loch Lomond mansion, which is currently undergoing a £25m revamp. The 222-bed baronial property encompasses the Carrick golf course, a spa with 17 wet and dry treatment rooms, and a private jetty for seaplanes for those arriving in style.
48 Glasgow is 48th on the ICCA ladder for international meetings and 25th in terms of international delegate numbers - 22,000 visited the city in 2007. Overall, Glasgow staged 257 conferences last year.
12,500 London may have the Olympics but Glasgow is hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. "The key benefits will be improved infrastructure such as the National Indoor Sports Arena, the National Velodrome and the Glasgow 2014 Hockey Centre," says Molly Doherny, convention bureau head at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. A 12,500-seat National Entertainment Arena at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) opens in 2012 and will play a role in the games as well.
49 The luxury boutique Hotel du Vin, in Glasgow's fashionable West End, has 49 Victorian rooms to choose from or, for VIP privacy, a self-contained 11-room townhouse with a dining room can be booked exclusively. "The property offers something different," says Meeting Makers chairman Clive Thomson. Saint Jude's, a boutique hotel on Bath Street, has also been spruced up. It offers six individually designed bedrooms plus restaurant, cocktail bar and meeting space for 80 delegates.
2,500 Glasgow is a city "where hotel bedroom space increases every month and hotels are refurbished and rebranded all the time," says Thomson. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau predicts 2,500 new beds will come on stream over the next five years. Projects include the £17m, five-star Blythswood Square, which opens in the spring. Created from the Royal Scottish Automobile Club's former home, this boutique property will offer 88 rooms.
700 There's more on the Glaswegian menu than curry, haggis and deep fried Mars bars. The city has 700 restaurants and bars covering French and Italian to Lebanese and African cuisines. Lesley Evans, events director at Events in Partnership, favours FiFi & Ally on Wellington Street, which offers function space to small to medium-size groups. "This wonderful cafe/restaurant in Glasgow's financial district is stylish, welcoming and great for lunch or dinner," she says. The Shandon Belles, a basement restaurant at the Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, is a hidden gem, adds Evans. It can be hired exclusively for 40 diners. "The food is delicious, service is impeccable and the atmosphere warm and friendly," she says.
18 Glasgow is within easy reach of 18 golf courses, including world famous fairways like Turnberry, Royal Troon and Loch Lomond, all within an hour's drive. If golf doesn't fit the brief, hop on the Whisky Bus, Glasgow's newest incentive, which includes a whisky tour and dram or three. Loch Lomond's seaplane, Britain's first commercial seaplane service for 50 years, took off last year and flies between the city centre and Oban (24 minutes) and the Isle of Mull (40 minutes), which is a great option for day trips.
3,000 The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is Glasgow's biggest business venue. Its Clyde Auditorium seats up to 3,000 delegates and the Loch Suite when combined with the Lomond Auditorium can hold 620 theatre-style. Along with ten break-out rooms and five exhibition halls, the SECC is linked by covered walkway to the 283-room, four-star Crowne Plaza. The SECC was chosen by DSGI, the parent company of the Currys and Dixons and PC World brands, for the north-east of England and Scottish leg of its product training staff roadshow. "Glasgow was chosen for its excellent exhibition space and good motorway access," explains DSGI group product training leader Nathan Frost. "The event gives store colleagues an interactive learning experience with the latest products that are available in store. Good facilities plus an environment that enhances the learning experience were key reasons for selecting the SECC."
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
Contact Molly Doheny 0141 566 0800