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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Glasgow lures virtual visitors
Tourist website
The site has information in eight languages
Glasgow is preparing for more than an estimated million-plus virtual visitors a year with the launch of its new multi-lingual website.

The site has been created to provide information on Scotland's largest city to tourists from across the world.

Tourism officials say interest in the city is already increasing among internet users.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board chief executive Eddie Friel said the board had received more emails in three months than in the whole of last year.

Princes Square
Shopping is one of Glasgow's attractions
He predicted: "We would anticipate that in less than 12 months we will be getting more than one million hits a year."

Information technology was now "central" to the tourist board's entire business strategy.

The new site is being billed as the most comprehensive listing of destination and product information compiled on Scotland's largest city.

It contains details from the board's 700-plus members on accommodation, restaurants, shopping and visitor attractions, along with information on public transport and events.

Reputation for hospitality

Potential visitors can access the site in eight different languages, including Gaelic.

That was particularly pleasing to Gaelic-speaking Deputy Minister for Tourism Alasdair Morrison, who also has ministerial responsibility for the language.

Mr Morrison, who helped launch the site on Tuesday with Glasgow's Lord Provost and tourist board chairman Alex Mosson, said: "Glasgow enjoys a world-wide reputation for its hospitality.

Alasdair Morrison
Alasdair Morrison: "A multi-lingual country"
"It is fitting that the city should extend this welcome in the languages of its many visitors.

"Scotland is a multi-lingual country and I welcome the fact that extends the city's invitation to fellow Gaelic-speaking Scots."

It is planned to introduce interactive maps and on-line retailing in the next phase of the site's development.

Meanwhile, a hotel in Dumfries and Galloway is the first in Scotland to have received a booking through the Scottish Tourist Board's internet site.

A couple from Spain booked their first night's accomodation at the Reivers Rest in Langholm through the site.

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