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Published on : Friday, November 4, 2016
As we head into winter and towards the end of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 I’m reminded of the innovative business owners I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this year. From design companies like Trakke in Glasgow and Prickly Thistle in the Highlands, to the myriad craft beer and gin producers opening up across the country, it has been a privilege to meet so many talented and ambitious people who all contribute to the wider visitor economy through their ambition, drive and passion.
The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 has been a compelling year for Scottish tourism. A year in which we challenged the industry to get creative and link their business or product to themes that they often wouldn’t have thought were relevant. But the industry has embraced it with open arms and capitalised on our country’s long history of innovation.
From the magnificent Hinterland, which was performed to international acclaim in a derelict seminary on the outskirts of Helensburgh to Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed in the Outer Hebrides, celebrating one of Scotland’s most iconic fabrics, the year has really pushed the boundaries of what we as an industry are capable of.Our recent tourism success in the first half of this year with increased international visitor numbers and spend is testament in part to our themed years and the work the industry puts in to making sure the strategy is implemented across Scotland.
Themed years have been pivotal in bringing together Scotland’s public and private sectors across tourism and events. We’ve forged ahead since the Year of Homecoming 2014 and the major events that helped make that year so special and the themed years since have really given the industry the opportunity to further raise Scotland’s reputation.
And there we were two weeks ago launching the next phase in the themed years programme at the Glasgow Concert Hall, to present to the industry our plans for the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017.