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Late night opening would make heritage attractions more appealing to young people

15 March 2018

Late night opening hours, special events and historical re-enactments, would help make heritage tourist attractions more attractive to young people.

Research carried out in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Tourism Alliance, and the Heritage Tourism Group reveals a significant number of young people aged 16-24 are interested in historic sites.

A recent survey, in Glasgow and Stirling, found 79% enjoy visiting heritage attractions and 70% have visited one in the last 12 months.

Julie Ann McHale, Heritage and Young People Development Officer, who is based at the Moffat Centre at GCU, said attractions needed to look at ways to engage with young people to capitalise on this interest and encourage repeat visits.

The findings of the study were presented at Heritage Tourism and Young People, a conference hosted by the University and the Scottish Tourism Alliance, which brought together 130 tourism experts from academia and industry.

Julie Ann said: “The results demonstrate this is a warm market. It’s not necessarily about interest, it’s about engagement.

“It’s about getting them to come along, enjoy and repeat their visits.”

Student discounts and combined travel and entry tickets were also cited when the respondents were asked what would make heritage attractions more appealing. The study was carried out in Glasgow city centre, in Stirling and at a number of heritage attractions, including Pollok House in Glasgow.

Other speakers at the conference included Professor Matthew Greenby, from Newcastle University, Craig Fletcher, senior learning manager at Historic Environment Scotland, and Caroline Marcus, director of special projects for Kids in Museums.

March is Scottish Tourism Month and a number of special events are being held across Glasgow.

Earlier this week, Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre, opened a debate on city and national tourism forecasts for 2018-2019 between a panel of five experts.

The event, hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, was part of the Glasgow Talks series.