Homecoming Scotland 2009

Q: Is Homecoming going to be good for Scottish businesses, helping them through the recession, or should the money be spent elsewhere?


The current state of the pound will almost certainly boost the numbers attending “Homecoming” events.


Whether additional numbers come from resident Scots: lacking the confidence to commit to foreign travel; unable to afford to travel abroad; or those determined to wait until the travel industry start slashing prices. In addition, as a nation (once) renowned for fiscal prudence, there must be plenty of astute ex-pat Scots who recognise the value to be had in UK at this time. Whether they get the real value they seek will only be determined by the investment in the events rather than the amount spent on promoting them. I am not in a position to comment specifically but I wish I had a greater level of faith that it isn’t just about the latter.


Spending a further £500k, presumably on encouraging domiciled Scots out to support events, does make sense and if that makes them tourists within the definition then great. In the current climate, when we hear daily news of numbers so large they were once exclusively the domain of playground boasts, to spend less than £2m with the aim of attracting £40m seems like a better opportunity than some of the outrageous bets placed on our behalf by our most trusted financial institutions.


For once, it would be a pleasant change to hear our political parties pulling together in such difficult times to support an initiative intended to be about national pride. Instead of trying to make some political mileage by spouting about promoting “nationalism”.


Finally, I would like to recommend a series of low cost events that would, undoubtedly, enjoy enormous support from home and abroad…


In the continued absence of any real censure for the financial greed mongers who chose to flout regulation, abandon good governance and abuse the trust placed in them (in pursuit of personal glory and wealth) I would suggest a range of punishments to be meted out by members of the public. Everything from wet sponges to a modern version of medieval stocks or ducking stool. £1 per capita from each “tourist” should be sufficient to contribute a substantial amount to the costs for the Homecoming year, Sky/Setanta/CNBC may be interested in coverage and, whilst it may not do much for public confidence, it would certainly do a lot for the nation’s feelgood factor.


David G Wilson



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