THE number of tourists visiting Glasgow increased last year, bringing a significant rise in how much visitors spent, according to new figures.
Tourism visits were up by 37 per cent in an “incredible” 12 months for the city which hosted the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow also staged Radio 1’s Big Weekend and the MTV EMA event, together with a number of major global conferences.
These high-profile events helped attract 2.7 million international and domestic tourists to the city, with visitors spending £687 million - up 39 per cent from £495 million the previous year.
The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also show the majority of international tourists to Glasgow last year travelled from Europe and North America.
Visitors from further afield, including China, India and Australia, totalled 19 per cent.
Most international tourists said they were in the city on holiday, whilst almost a quarter visited friends and relatives and 18 per cent were business travellers.
Now, Glasgow has overtaken Liverpool as the fifth most visited UK city by international tourists and ranks ahead of Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, York, Cardiff and Newcastle.
Meanwhile, data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey shows domestic visitors made more than 2.1 million trips to Scotland’s biggest city last year; a 56 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Tourism is a crucial pillar of Glasgow’s economic strategy and these figures strongly reinforce our commitment to delivering a world-class visitor experience.
“2014 was an incredible year for Glasgow; it was the most exciting and high-profile period in our history.
“A key legacy of 2014 is that our global profile has never been greater. We’re now firmly recognised as one of the world’s must-visit destinations while the overwhelming success of the Commonwealth Games has ensured that we’ve become a first-choice host for major international events and conferences, with confirmed business on our books until 2022.”