Over the last 20 years our 'Weegie' home of Glasgow has spurred itself to become one of Europe's best meeting, incentive, conference and events destinations. Describe as edgy, modish and downright ballsy by Lonely Planet, it's no wonder the city's working-class roots, down-to-earth attitude and cultural diversity have spiralled to evolve into a chic urban destination that you'll love. Over the next few weeks I'm going to bring you a 4 part series created by the Hello team, that gives you the inside info about the city’s cosmopolitan hotels, country retreats, what you can't miss, plus great incentive activities that Glasgow can offer you.

A bit about the City…

Glasgow is seeped in heritage, but rather than chat all day about its history (I know you're busy people), here’s a quick timeline of some of the major events since the city’s founding in the 6th Century. (Click to view full size timeline)

Today's Glasgow

The ‘down and out’ legacy from Glasgow’s economic downfall in the 1980’s, has left a lasting mark on the city’s reputation, tagging it the Scottish underdog, or Edinburgh’s ugly sister - which has been hard for the city to shake…but it’s trying!

A host of awards over the past few years has reflected the transformation from a fallen city to a buzzing metropolitan and culturally rich European hub, home to architectural delights, diverse cultural treasures, a pounding home-grown music scene and the UK’s best shopping outside of London.

Regeneration plans have swept through the city and have cumulating in 2 significant locations. The banks of the River Clyde are changing forever as more than £1 billion is being invested in stylish business, residential and leisure areas that will sit under the backdrop of a new Riverside Transport Museum – an architectural masterpiece inspired by architect Zaha Hadid’s stunning designs.

At the opposite end of the city, the East End is seeing a once severely deprived area rejuvenated into the home for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, with a new National Indoor Sports Arena (NISA) and adjoining Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

When you’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle of the city, take a short journey, in any direction out of the city, and you’ll be met by Scotland’s glorious countryside, home of world class golf, picturesque lochs, stunning mountain views and more activities than you can shake a stick at!

It’s Business Time…

Glasgow definitely means business when it comes to their business tourism and MICE industry. In 2008 the ICCA published statistics that saw the city creep above London in international association meeting delegate numbers (20,070), moving to 33rd in the world.

This included the four largest international conferences of the year - the World Congress on Pain, the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Astronautical Congress and the European Sleep Research Society, bringing over £26million into the city’s economy.

Key facts you should know about Glasgow:

  • Airports: Glasgow International Airport (8 miles from city centre) and Glasgow Prestwick Airport (30 miles from the city centre, close to Royal Troon)
  • Bedrooms: There’s estimated to by 17,000 hotel rooms within a 10 mile radius of the city centre, with almost 1,000 of these being 5*
  • Prices: Hotel Benchmark Survey by Deloitte, the average cost of a hotel room in Glasgow - at £67 - was less than in rival destinations such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Belfast and less than Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
  • Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel awards for 2009 lists Glasgow as one of the Top Ten Cities in the World to Visit.
  • Dialect: Glaswegian is a dialect, more than an alternative pronunciation. A speaker of Glaswegian might refer to those originating from the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles as teuchters, while they would reciprocate by referring to Glaswegians as keelies and those from the East of Scotland refer to Glaswegians as Weegies (or Weedgies).
  • Our Office!: The Hello Scotland office is based in the suburbs of Glasgow, close to the city’s trendy west end.

Next week:

Part 2: City Chic Hotels - Coming up next week is Part 2 of our Glasgow Series were I'll tell you about the ins and outs (and the ups and downs!) of city centre hotels.

Then:

Part 3: Country Hotels - Experience the wonders of the countryside and the buzz of the city, all rolled into one!

Part 4: What not to miss - Glasgow highlights that you simply can't miss!

Part 5: Incentive Activities - What Glasgow and the surrounding area can offer your incentive or team-building trip

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