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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 17:36 GMT
Plan to cash in on G8 protesters
G8 protest in Genoa
Thousands gathered in Genoa to protest at the G8 summit there
Tourism chiefs are aiming to cash in on the thousands of protesters expected to gather in Scotland for the G8 summit.

The leaders of the world's top industrial nations will meet at Gleneagles in Perthshire in July, as part of Britain's presidency of the G8.

The annual summit is often the focus of protest and sometimes violence, most notably at Genoa in 2001.

However, tourist chiefs in Edinburgh want to encourage protesters to extend their stay in the city.

'Looking for trouble'

It is estimated that up to 200,000 people could travel to Edinburgh, many to take part in a march organised by the Make Poverty History campaign.

Graham Birse of Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board said the march would attract a substantial number of people to the city.

He said: "Many of them are professionals living in London and the south east of England. They have jobs, they have mortgages and they have kids, just like most of the rest of us do.

"They are not full-faced, motorcycle helmet-clad anarchists looking to make a lot of trouble in someone else's city."

Gleneagles Hotel
The summit will be held at Gleneagles

The tourist board has asked a local tour operator to work on potential packages which could offer protesters transport, accommodation and a variety of excursions, including walking tours, distillery visits, or rounds of golf.

Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition intends to be in Edinburgh for the march.

She said that there was nothing wrong with swapping placards for postcards.

"If people want to combine protesting with walking or sailing or wandering round Edinburgh, then I'm sure people in Scotland will welcome them doing so," she said.

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