Readers express views on Homecoming

Item Posted: Tuesday 27th October, 2009

Clan Gathering Fiasco
The cynicism of big firms who have collected public money for Homecoming events astounds me, and brings the whole idea into disrepute. Gathering Ltd was given £500,000 of our money to stage the Gathering, managed to make a £600,000 loss, and has now had nearly £300,000 of this written off by the SNP government. Most of the debts are to private companies and individuals, so rather than providing an economic boost to the economy they have not only spent our money, but possibly put other businesses at risk of bankruptcy. I don’t suppose any one will bail them out.
Neil Simmons, Stirling

More tourists?
I’ve been to a number of the big Homecoming events this year, but most of them seemed to be events that are regular component parts of the Scottish calendar, and although, as usual, there were a good number of ‘foreign’ accents about, I wonder how many more tourists really came to Scotland as a direct result of Homecoming 2009. When Visit Scotland and the Government do their number crunching I’m sure they will say it was all a great success. Any improvements in tourist numbers will be credited to Homecoming, any fall will be blamed on either the world wide recession, or Americans’ annoyance that our legal system is more compassionate than theirs! If there was an improvement in numbers it probably has more to do with the weak pound making us a cheaper than usual destination than the Homecoming publicity machine.
M. Montgomery, Balloch.

Selling to the USA
Some friends in Glasgow told me about Homecoming when I was visiting from London (I am of Scottish descent and return regularly), but I saw little about it in the English newspapers, or on TV. I understand that it was intended to attract the Scottish diaspora but the PR was mainly aimed at the USA and ‘down under’. Given that most tourists to Scotland come from England anyway, and more people from England - who would presumably be more inclined (especially given the current economic situation) to come to Scotland, why was the decision made to focus so heavily on the USA?
Martin MacDuff, London

‘Local’ input important
The Park Weekly News has kept locals and tourists up to date with a whole range of Homecoming events, many of which have been tremendous. But the Homecoming’s own web sit, although extensive, has some really bad design faults. You can’t search by dates less than a whole month listing, and only the so-called ‘main’ events are fully listed. ‘ Local events’, which are just as important to the overall success of Homecoming have to be searched for separately – they should be given a better boost by the Homecoming web site. Also I picked up a HC brochure and the same thing applies. No mention of smaller local events –who are probably those who need the publicity most and have the least money to spare for advertising.
Mr Stevens, Arrochar


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