Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:41 am on 9th March 2006.

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Photo of Christine May Christine May Labour 11:41 am, 9th March 2006

To ask the Scottish Executive what impact on tourism in Scotland is anticipated from the London Olympics in 2012 and the 2014 Commonwealth games being held in Glasgow. (S2O-9228)

Photo of Robert Brown Robert Brown Liberal Democrat

Australia's experience of the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic games in Sydney was that an estimated £296 million-worth of publicity was generated for Queensland—which is the same distance from Sydney as Scotland is from London—as a visitor destination as a result of the games. During the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth games, Manchester saw an additional 1 million visitors, many of whom went on to visit other parts of the country. We expect the 2012 games and a Glasgow games in 2014 to have a similarly positive impact on tourism. Both events will support our commitment to achieving the goal of growing Scotland's tourism industry by 50 per cent by 2015.

Photo of Christine May Christine May Labour

I welcome the support that has been given to this issue by the First Minister, the Executive and the delegation that will leave for Australia today, which includes the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Patricia Ferguson. What steps are being taken to spread the anticipated tourism benefit as widely as possible, including to the kingdom of Fife, part of which I represent?

Photo of Robert Brown Robert Brown Liberal Democrat

I would not expect Christine May to ask about anything other than the effects on the kingdom of Fife. That is quite appropriate.

As she rightly mentioned, the First Minister and Patricia Ferguson are currently on their way to Melbourne to support Glasgow's bid—[Laughter.] I am sorry, they will soon be on their way. They will make a presentation on Glasgow's bid for the 2014 Commonwealth games and Patricia Ferguson will attend the Commonwealth sports ministers meeting.

As part of the structure of the London Olympic games arrangements, a nations and regions committee has been set up in order to spread the benefits across the country. A Scottish steering group is involved in that. Julia Bracewell, the chair of sportscotland, is involved in both bodies—she chairs the second body—and the objective of the exercise is to spread the good activity around the country. A series of issues relating to sport, tourism and other activities are expected to be raised by the two events, assuming that Glasgow wins the Commonwealth games bid which—I am confident—it will.