Second Year of Homecoming to Boost Local Tourism
The new Homecoming, to be staged in Scotland in 2014, will feature events to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, which falls in June of that year.
It will also seek to capitalise on major sporting events to be held in Scotland in 2014, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.
Welcoming the news of a second Homecoming, South of Scotland SNP MP Mr Russell said: “The first Homecoming was an undoubted success, exceeding its target in revenue generation by 22 per cent.
“For an outlay of £5.5 million it generated £53.7 million in additional tourism revenue for Scotland. It attracted 71,934 additional to Scotland, with a further 23,293 saying the event was one reason for their visit.
“VisitScotland reported that visitor numbers in Scotland grew by 2.9 per cent last year against the backdrop of a 4 per cent fall across the world. That’s a success story by any standards.
He added: “Dumfries and Galloway, which was at the very heart of some of the keynote events of the 2009 Homecoming, was highly praised for its activities in the independent review of Homecoming year published this week.
“I also welcome its recommendation that the region should seek to capitalise on its success by organising theme years which can lock into national events to keep its tourism profile high.
“A great deal of ground-breaking work was done during Homecoming year, establishing links between various organisations and it would be a pity to lose that momentum.
“That’s why I am in favour of the review’s recommendation that we should think of creating a permanent Dumfries and Galloway wide community events-related fund which could be used to seed fund ‘theme years.’
“There was a considerable learning curve involved in organising the first Homecoming and we should be putting that knowledge to good use to continue growing the D & G tourism industry.”