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A tale of two cities and tourism

Heeley, John (1986) A tale of two cities and tourism. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 11 (4). pp. 49-54. ISSN 0306-7866

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Edinburgh and Glasgow are Scotland's foremost cities accounting for approximately one quarter of the country's total population. Traditionally, Glasgow has formed the industrial heartland of the West of Scotland, while Edinburgh - Scotland's capital - has been a focus of the industry of the Eastern Central Belt as well as being the financial, administrative and commercial hub of the nation. Edinburgh's capital status, its fine old buildings and its culture, ceremonial and shopping have meant that it has always attracted visitor traffic. Put simply, it was Scotland's pre-eminent urban resort. The rise to prominence of Glasgow as a tourist centre in the subsequent decade (1976-85) has therefore effected a remarkable change. The latest published estimates show that the throughput of visitors to the two cities is roughly similar and, as this article seeks to show, the future may well see Glasgow become miles better.