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Dragon’s Den event to bring Edinburgh and Glasgow closer

4 December 2007

Tourism leaders are backing a Dragon's Den-style event to bring Edinburgh and Glasgow closer together. The idea is included in a new strategy document launched today by the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG). Called Innovation eg it is one of a series of initiatives being driven forward by ETAG's new chair, Barbara Smith, who is manager of Edinburgh Castle.

Ms Smith said: "The two cities have a tremendous amount to offer and already attract enormous numbers of visitors each year.

"But we believe that so much more could be achieved by working together more closely. We have been working with colleagues in both city councils and in Scottish Enterprise on new ways of collaborating.

"Innovation eg is a great way of harnessing the energies and enthusiasm of young professionals in a way that will benefit Glasgow and Edinburgh."

The scheme is part of the wider Glasgow: Edinburgh Collaboration Initiative, established by Scottish Enterprise and the two city councils and led by Laura Gordon.

Preparations are already at an advanced stage and Innovation eg will kick off in February with an event that will bring together young tourism professionals to form teams that will each have the help of an experienced mentor.

Each team then has to come up with a business plan that has to be pitched to a panel of industry experts in the same way that entrepreneurs have to do on TV's Dragon's Den.

Laura Gordon, director of Glasgow: Edinburgh Collaboration, said: "One of our top priorities is to look at opportunities for getting the tourism sectors in both cities to work more closely together and Innovation eg is one of many projects being driven by the initiative that will enable us to do that in an innovative way.

"By combining the distinctive identities of both Edinburgh and Glasgow and enabling visitors to experience all of what our two biggest cities have to offer, we can strengthen Scotland's tourism sector.

“At the same time we can also provide real opportunities for both cities to develop the scale needed to compete more effectively with the best cities and regions in the world and deliver real economic benefits for Scotland."

All finalists will win cash but the winning team will walk away with £3,000 to develop their project.

Notes for editors
·ETAG is a dynamic working partnership between public and private sectors to co-ordinate the further development of tourism in Edinburgh. The group includes representation from over 1000 tourism related businesses in the city and is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, and VisitScotland Edinburgh and Lothians. For more information visit

·Today ETAG launched its Edinburgh Tourism Action Plan for 2008 at Edinburgh Castle which will help it achieve its target of 63% revenue growth by 2015.

·The action plan comprises a wide-ranging programme of projects designed to boost tourism revenue in the capital by 5% during the course of next year and to take forward the delivery of ETAG’s Framework for Growth strategy. Produced in March 2007, this aims through sustained growth to develop Edinburgh’s tourism industry into a £2.77 billion sector.

·ETAG also introduced its new Chair, Barbara Smith, who is executive manager of the castle, Scotland’s premier tourism attraction. She takes over the role from former chair, Richard Jeffrey.

·Edinburgh Castle, which every year attractions 1.2 million visitors from the UK and overseas, is Scotland’s premier visitor attraction. It is one of 345 heritage properties throughout the country in the care of Historic Scotland.

For further information

Matthew Shelley
Historic Scotland
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8734