Edinburgh is attempting to step up its game when it comes to hosting major events with a new plan to rival Glasgow as a leading destination.

The City Council has outlined a new ten-year plan for the capital, which has a target of securing at least one new major international event - such as the MTV Europe Awards - every year.

It comes after Glasgow achieved its best global ranking for 10 years - attracting more international conference delegates last year than New York, Washington DC or Beijing.

Scotland's biggest city has also hosted several high-profile events in recent years, including the Commonwealth Games, MTV Europe Music Awards and BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend.

Members of Edinburgh City Council will be asked to approve the new strategy at a meeting next week.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: "Edinburgh has built a world-wide reputation for hosting high profile events and festivals.

"We need to draw on our capital city status, our world-class venues and our envious and iconic cityscape to continue enticing excellent events to the city.

"A new, nationally aligned strategy will help us achieve this.

"I hope our new approach, which has been developed with the support of professionals from right across the events industry, will guide our aspirations for the next decade."

Edinburgh has a strong reputation for hosting annual events such as its festivals programme, Hogmanay and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

However, when it comes one-off, high-profile events, Glasgow appears to have fared better in recent years.

Scotland's biggest city has welcomed the Commonwealth Games, MTV Europe Music Awards and BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, while it has been named the eighth best sports city in the world and is one of only two cities in the UK to be named a UNESCO city of music.

However, despite the East-West rivalry, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said it was looking forward to working with the Capital on the new plan.

A spokesman for the bureau said: "Scotland’s towns and cities have been home to some outstanding events in recent years – and everyone has benefitted from both increased exposure and economic activity.

"Glasgow already has strong links with our partners in Edinburgh and we look forward to working with them to maximise opportunities in the months and years ahead.”

The new plan for Edinburgh will also include two national events being held in the city each year, as well as two bespoke events tailored to the city.

Marketing officials said Edinburgh performing well when it comes to events can benefit the whole of Scotland,

John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: "Edinburgh enjoys a global reputation for its festivals and Hogmanay celebrations, but a huge opportunity remains to strengthen our cultural and sporting offering, particularly in the quieter shoulder months.

"The benefits of a dynamic and varied events programme reach far beyond the city limits. Edinburgh is the gateway to Scotland for the majority of its international visitors, the more compelling reasons we can give them to choose Edinburgh, the better for all."

Source: Herald Scotland

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