The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Surely some mistake

Posted on January 11, 2013 by

February 2012: “Don’t worry, Scotland – the Olympics might be costing you millions of pounds, but look at all the extra tourism you’ll be getting from it to compensate!”

What could possibly go wrong? Bring on the bonanza!

January 2013: “The number of tourists visiting Scotland fell sharply last summer, according to official figures. The amount they spent also dropped by about £50m.”

We’re indebted to an alert reader for pointing us to this one. But however could such a misunderstanding have come to pass? We’re as shocked as you, readers. Still, we’re sure everything else they tell us is true. No cause to worry.

Print Friendly

    30 to “Surely some mistake”

    1. DanTDog says:

      Aye…just another fine example of the “mushroom management ” syndrome…they really have been thinking oor heids button up the back…

    2. Yesitis says:

      Did they really think that advertising the Olympics in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the way that they did would bring in more tourists to Glasgow and Edinburgh? Surely the tourists went to London instead to see the Olympics? It was a no-brainer.
      Still, the Reporting Scotland piece about falling tourist numbers in Scotland last year managed to feature a Loch Ness hotel owner (so he must know what he`s talking about) who just happened to mention that England is our biggest market. The insinuation was: English stay away = Scotland`s tourism collapses.
      The two tourists interviewed for the piece were North American and Australian.

    3. Bill C says:

      This article illustrates perfectly, why Wings over Scotland is THE website that will make the difference in the independence debate. Forensic analysis of what exactly is happening in the battle to decide Scotland’s constitutional future, in the language of the average Scot. No bull, no hype, no lies. Simple truth. Cheers Rev.

    4. redcliffe62 says:

      You will find London numbers were down as well except for the main sporting weeks. same thing happned here in Oz in 2000, my father in law had a hotel in central Sydney and it was his worst ever year in bookings. 3 weeks of inflated prices did not make up for a whole season!

    5. This was brought up at First Minister’s Questions yesterday. Frankly, I’m impressed that Scotland’s tourism figures held up so well!

      Bring on 2013, without an expensive distraction in London. 

    6. Peter says:

      The same thing happened in Greece for everywhere outside of Athens. Nobody went. It’s the real Olympic effect.

    7. Chic McGregor says:

      Note that the figure for the year as a whole was actually up.
      Note, re the hoteliers ‘English’ comment, was that the figures cited were fore OVERSEAS tourists.
      Note that the CNN recommend of Scotland as the must visit destination this year cited the Bond movie not Brave.
      Note the mandatory pic of Chris Hoy carrying the UJ yet again.

    8. annamac says:

      Don’t forget to add in the £800 million that our own First Minister saw fit to chuck away at the self-same lymyks bonanza.

    9. Melanie McKellar says:

      Never mind ‘Brave’ and ‘Bond’ movies…if ‘Waterloo Road’ goes Global then Greenock should be prepared for an influx in tourism! I have to say that they manage to show off all the highlights and scenery pretty well in the outdoor shots!
      Seriously though …..Scotland has a lot to offer visitors and actually has remained a bit of a secret ( for want of a better word) I can’t begin to tell you the number of times Belgians ask where I am from and then say ‘ Scotland! “Oh it is supposed to be a beautiful ….I would like to go there one day…” Usually followed with ..”but it is very expensive to visit…” Or “it rains a lot there though…” To which I always reply ” there are good deals on flights not just with budget airlines but also KLM, and accommodation can be found to fit all pockets” as to the rain well “it doesn’t rain any more than in Belgium and the temperatures are at worst a few degrees lower but no-one goes to Scotland for a suntan! You go for the Culture, Heritage and people!” The ones who do make it over Love it and our biggest asset is our friendliness and warmth and that is what will bring them back….

    10. Appleby says:

      Nutty stuff from barmy old auntie beeb again. Lies and drivel. It really is the British Pravda.

    11. Macart says:

      The beeb, never afraid to completely contradict themselves for a soundbite. 😉

    12. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


      “Don’t forget to add in the £800 million that our own First Minister saw fit to chuck away at the self-same lymyks bonanza.”

      It was £400k, not £800 million! And these efforts to promote Scotland (along with the Rider Cup and Brave events) did indeed bring benefits.

      CNN Travel destination of the year… £100 million in investment from Rider Cup… Cultural and diplomatic benefits… it goes on.

    13. martyn says:

      Just wanted to re-itterate what Bill C said, Rev Stu you are a breath of fresh air and no one, and i mean no one can doubt the way you put your argument accross is anything other than equal….

      Thank you 

    14. Iain says:

      I think the only rational conclusion to be drawn is that it was uncertainty about Scotland’s constitutional future that kept the tourists away, and without the Olympic boost figures would have been even worse. In fact if we accept the BBC’s (I’m sure) rigorously calculated forecasts, if we hadn’t had the Olympics 2012 tourism may have been down by over 40%!*
      *Disclaimer: if some Unionist does actually try and use such meretricious tripe as an excuse, it’s no ma fault.

    15. Seasick Dave says:

      Poor Wullie Rennie must be doubly disappointed; he didn’t get the Olympic rings on his Kelty house and his boom predictions turned out to be sh*te.

    16. Christian Wright says:

      Melanie McKellar wrote:  “. . of times Belgians ask where I am from and then say ‘ Scotland! “Oh it is supposed to be a beautiful ….I would like to go there one day…” . .“it rains a lot there though…” 
      Yes, I get that from people in various climes. I suggest they visit during the Scottish summer, which usually runs July 31 through August 1.  

      There has been a noticeable change though  in identification and perception of Scots and Scotland over the past 40+ years. When traveling in Europe late Sixties early Seventies, I’d meet a troublingly large minority of young men and women my age who seemed never to have heard of Scotland.

      I recall telling two West Germans when they asked “Scotland? Where’s that?”, that it was north of England. It seemed clear they were mentally imaging maps from barely  remembered  school lessons and wondering, “what the hell lies north of England?” Now you’d think with football ‘n all . . . 

       Among old folks (anyone over thirty)  who knew better, some would gently inform me that I was English and from England really in the certain knowledge that England is Britain and that “Scots” and “Scotland” are just place names that denote insubstantial regional differences. I would talk of Scottish independence with earnest passion and little tact, and they simply would not take notion or me seriously.

      On a related note, the culture in Britain at the time (still perhaps) was that “Europeans” were the garlic-breathed, and often swarthy, cheese-eating surrender monkeys infesting the Continent. I was genuinely shocked when first I was called a European. No one in Britain had ever called me that.

    17. Peter Thomson says:

      It must be catching? Osborne suffers the same malady, needing to revise all things down-wards. But well spotted by whoever. 

    18. HenBroon says:

      annamac says:
      11 January, 2013 at 2:19 am

      “Don’t forget to add in the £800 million that our own First Minister saw fit to chuck away at the self-same lymyks bonanza.”
      Oh dear another drunken labour troll vomits on the floor. Can you lot even raise your game by a % of a % ?
      Scotland is now getting the kind of publicity you cannot buy. Lets not forget the CBI sponsored “Boycott Scotland” web site and campaign after the Megrahi repatriation, when the BBC destroyed Glenn Campbells career by sending him to America for a week to invent anti Scottish lies. The tourist figures from America actually went up, and sales of Scottish food and drink have never been higher. So the CBI and the BBC can do some good, despite their British agendas.


    19. Les Wilson says:

      The Olympics should have started on a fair basis, this, in regard to work attributed to them. Scotland should have had it’s share of this. If memory serves we got about 2% of the contracts.
      Had they done what the should have we would have at least had a turn for Scottish companies.  

      However, the “British” mindset is centralised on London and the South East of England. There has been no lack of money being spent there.
      I suppose that ideology, while it should have been well known, is however coming home to Scots.

      We are being ripped of by a colonial thinking government, that is doing the same asset stripping it has done across the world. Their world is now almost none existent, however, we are still there to abuse.

      The assumptions of how well Scotland would do from the tourism kickback is just away for us to feel ” less hard done too”, and of course it was and is, baseless as normal. 

    20. bigbuachaille says:

      And here’s another one they had prepared earlier. This one is from November 2011.
      They simply soften up the gullible with fantasy articles and when reality comes along, the vacuous promises have been lost in the pap of BBC propaganda, masquerading as journalism.

    21. Melanie McKellar says:

      @Christian Wright….so true and I must remember the 31 July to 1st August! However I do like to promote our beautiful country so I will choose my moment for that one!
      On a similar note….I have to say I was more than outraged when my son (in Belgian Secondary school) lost marks in a geography exam when he answered that Edinburgh was a city in Scotland. The correct answer apparently was Edinburgh is a city in Great Britain…he confronted the teacher who told him Scotland wasn’t a country, he told her that his mum might have something to say about that…which of course I did!  Btw this was only about 18 months ago!

    22. Andrew Parrott says:

      It doesn’t help that any map produced by the EU I’ve ever seen does indeed portray Scotland as a region of UK and does not make any allowance for Scotland and England being countries. The EU (including Mr Barroso) cannot cope with the present structure of UK. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a Brussels teacher got it wrong. I hope she was politely but very firmly corrected. 

    23. Dcanmore says:

      Yes, I remember when I was backpacking through Netherlands with a couple of friends and we met some dutch people (mid 20s) and struck up a conversation.

      “Where are you from?”
      … Scotland

      “ugh where?”
      … Schotland!

      “um okay, you are English?”
      … no Scottish.

      “um you’re the same though yes?”
      … not really, we are a country with a different cultural heritage, laws and education but we share the same parliament.

      “What I mean is you’re like Bavaria in Germany, you say your different but you’re part of the same country, you know, England.”

      It’s at that point I realised that England, Great Britain and UK meant the same thing to them. This was summer of 1997. I had a very similar conversation with my mate’s Belgian wife and her parents at their wedding in Mechelen, when the Scots contingent turned up in kilts much to their (happy) surprise. That was 2001.

      There is some hostility towards Scottish Independence in Europe simply because Scotland is seen as a region trying to break up a country rather than a country seeking self-determination. This of course, is the mantra that is promoted by Nu Labour and others among their International Neo-Liberal friends in other governments. Jose Manuel Barosso, for instance, is a communist reformed ‘Social Democrat’ and no doubt an ‘International Socialist’ like Alastair Darling and the Millibands. All fake of course, they abandoned their principles and ideals long ago. But this is a network through the EU that Labour is exploiting so they can get ‘VIP’ friends to seed fear and pour scorn over the Independence Movement in Scotland. 

    24. Dcanmore says:

      We all know something of countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and multiple of ‘stans that made up the old Soviet Union. However during the existence of the Soviet Union, how many of us heard about these places until the end of the Cold War. We only recognised that part of the world as the Soviet Union, or Russia. I bet most of us thought about the Soviet Union and just called it Russia … “What if Russia attacks.” “Invading Russians into the West” etc. When mentioning the Soviet Union we always thought of Russia and Moscow. These other Republics were invisible, and yet, all have their own unique culture and languages.

      It is the same mindset when the UK is looked upon by foreign eyes. Scotland, Wales and NI (and i suppose North of England) are invisible. What they see is SE England and London and that is all they need to see because the UK is SE and London-centric and therefore that is where the wealth, trade, finance, travel and shipping is mostly concentrated. The dominant political parties of the UK have given up creating a cohesive and inclusive Great Britain, the rest of GB will continue to be in managed decline because there is now no need to have votes from all over the UK to gain power, the battleground is now exclusively concentrated in the south of England. I said this before on another thread and I apologise for repeating it. London is being turned into a City State to rival Hong Kong and Singapore, the Home Counties will be the safe idyll country retreats to commute from and the West Country is where the weekend get-away holiday home is. That is the shape of the UK tomorrow, nothing else matters to those who seek power in London.


    25. Richard McHarg says:

      Had the Union already been dissolved, we may not have seen this Olympic effect on tourist numbers up here.  We’ll never know!

      One thing is certain: people would have been put off coming here if they had to go through the London hub during the summer.  

      As for tourism numbers: they may have been down during the summer, but they still come in great numbers, and are doing so all year round.  No panic!

      It’s also one of our most valued industries, so it’s vital that it is taken seriously by government and all who work in the industry.  Hotel owners are notoriously grumpy buggers and are never happy unless every room is booked all year round.  

      The implication that English tourists will not come due to ‘independence’, created by an atmosphere of media-inspired anti-Englishness, may actually become a factor for a while, but when everyone finds out that the media has been spouting their usual unfounded guff, the English won’t have any problems coming here, and if our independence puts some of them off, so be it.  We are not a colonial playground for them. After all, the English travel everywhere, including to their great ‘mates’ in France, so why would they not take the fairly easy option of a journey north on the island that we share?

      We cannot base the future of our nation on what the English think.  We must determine our own future; set our own benchmarks, and that applies to tourism as well! 

    26. Melanie McKellar says:

      @Dcanmore : you make a very good point about the former Soviet countries I hadn’t really thought about it before……So look out everyone here come the Scots…and Scotland is well and truly open for business come away in and see for yourself! 

    27. Morag says:

      Back in the 1980s the SNP London Branch used to hold its branch meetings in a room in the Estonian Club in London.  The exiled Estonians at that time observed enviously that Scotland would be independent long before Estonia.

      So much for that prediction.

    28. DanTDog says:

      @ Richard McHarg…

      “We cannot base the future of our nation on what the English think.  We must determine our own future; set our own benchmarks, and that applies to tourism as well!”

      Hear hear…very well said!! 

    29. annamac says:

      @ sneakyboy  
      Thanks for correcting my figures but still think there are much more urgent things that could have been addressed with the same amount of money.     The term “investment” is used for so many things that can’t be easily measured. The Scottish Tourist Board has its own funding and could take a look at Iceland’s website for ideas.   I don’t think questioning some of SG’s  decisions on spending or otherwise is a bad thing nor does it do any damage to the yes campaign.

    30. AnneDon says:

      I work in tourism in Edinburgh. We were told by management at the start of the year that it would be difficult. Then they made their own prediction come true by cutting services! There is a lot of fatalism in the tourist industry! 

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top