Scotland

Scotland to stage second Year of Homecoming

Men in kilts at The Gathering
Image caption Homecoming 2009 featured a gathering of the clans in Edinburgh

Scotland is to stage a second year of Homecoming in 2014, it has been confirmed.

The event will coincide with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, as well as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The announcement was made as it emerged last year's Homecoming beat its financial targets.

The year-long event marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said a study by economic consultancy Ekos showed Homecoming Scotland 2009 had generated £53.7m in additional tourism revenue for Scotland, exceeding the £44m target.

It also attracted 95,000 new visitors to Scotland and generated £154m of positive global media coverage.

The first minister added: "In 2014 the eyes of the world will be on Scotland as the Commonwealth Games comes to Glasgow and Gleneagles hosts the Ryder Cup and Scots at home and abroad mark the anniversary of Bannockburn.

"In this year of celebration, repeating the remarkable success and benefits of Homecoming 2009 is an excellent opportunity to attract tourism and investment and showcase the very best of Scotland.

"The independent evaluation published today proves the unprecedented effect of the first Homecoming, attracting almost 100,000 people, generating £53.7m extra income and contributing to visitor numbers rising by 3% despite the downturn and a 4% drop in global tourism."

Mr Salmond also launched a new digital resource that will showcase Homecoming 2009 to audiences at home and abroad.

Greatest assets

The Homecoming Scotland Digital Archives and Exhibition Project, designed by Queen Margaret University, uses new Microsoft technology to allow users to learn more about the event.

An archivist will collate Homecoming documents, brochures, articles and video clips. The archives will be available online from January next year and a public exhibition will begin a tour of Scotland in the summer.

Tourism Minister Jim Mather is due to mark the start of a year-long focus on Scotland's food and drink on Wednesday.

He will also launch a programme of events around some of Scotland's greatest assets leading up to 2014.

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