Visit Scotland Chairman Mike Cantlay on Glasgow 2014: Yes, it was brilliant so let's build on it

PRINCE Imran of Malaysia, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, summed it up perfectly.

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The city came alive during the Commonwealth Games
The city came alive during the Commonwealth Games

"Glasgow you were pure dead brilliant".

And Glasgow was. The city looked brilliant, the volunteers were brilliant, Team Scotland was brilliant, and the atmosphere was brilliant - in fact, phenomenal.

But now as the flags and banners are taken down, the athletes depart and the city returns to normal, it's time for every Glaswegian, and every Scot, to appreciate the scale of the success of the XX Commonwealth Games. Glasgow now stands as a shining example of absolute best practice in hosting events, not just across the Commonwealth, but anywhere in the world.

Scotland is unashamedly using events to position ourselves on the world stage.

It's an obvious tactic for any small nation, but in reality, it's extremely difficult to pull off. Time and time again, nations and cities hosting events run into difficulty, exceeding budgets or encountering late delivery of infrastructure.

Scotland's prowess in delivering events on time and on budget is now recognised across the globe. Over the next few years, I have no doubt event organisers across the world will want to emulate Glasgow's success.

The legacy of sporting venues for the citizens of Glasgow and the magnificent athletes' village providing new housing for Glaswegians are obvious wins.

But from a tourism point of view, the infrastructure that has been built will play an integral role in attracting more events and more visitors.

We are already seeing evidence of this, with Games venues such as the Emirates Arena, the Hydro and redeveloped Tollcross International Swimming Centre set to welcome huge crowds next year for the EJU European Judo Championships, the World Gymnastics Championship and the IPC Swimming World Championships.

But as well as sport, these venues will also be used for entertainment and cultural events, plus conferences and conventions.

The Hydro, which will host next month's incredible Ryder Cup Gala Concert and, later this year, the MTV European Music Awards, is already the third busiest music venue this year anywhere in the world.

Next year, Glasgow hosts the coveted Turner Prize. Meanwhile more than 75,000 delegates are signed up to visit Scotland for conferences in the coming years, with Glasgow winning a major percentage of that business.

Of course, you can have the best of events and facilities, but if it isn't easy and affordable for people to get here, then they simply won't make the effort.

One economic driver leads to another, with success driving success. And it works across Scotland.

Then you add the magic ingredient - the people. It was our people that everybody was talking about during Glasgow 2014 and it's our people the visitors, athletes and the media remember.

WE were already well-known for our warm welcome. Now we are famous for it.

Glaswegians snapping up tickets for the Games, the new Hydro events and all the World Class events to come in Glasgow over the next decade, is crucial to building our events business.

Well, this last fortnight has been just another example of a city that doesn't just host events, the city and its citizens become the event. A city that you don't need to ask twice to party.

It's the people of Glasgow who have driven that phenomenon, the likes of which I haven't witnessed anywhere else in the world.

In fact, I'm unaware of any comparable nation in the world that is so advanced in harnessing the power of events for so much gain - social and economic.

Without doubt, in these Commonwealth Games it was the people of Glasgow who won gold. Pure gallus!

Sport

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