Glasgow has been voted the World’s Leading Festival and Event Destination 2019 in the 26th annual World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the most prestigious honours programme in global travel and tourism.

Following being awarded the European title in June 2019, the city beat off other competition from Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, London, Cape Town, and previous double-winner Dubai to be crowned the World Leader at the Awards Gala in Muscat, Oman last night (28 November).

Glasgow received the most votes from travel and tourism professionals and consumers across Europe, recognising the commitment to excellence which the city has demonstrated.

The city’s nomination for this award category was based on the array of world-class major sporting and cultural events which Glasgow has hosted over the last few years.

Billy Garrett, Director of Sport and Events at Glasgow Life, said: “We’ve known for a long time that Glasgow is a world-class city when it comes to delivering festivals and events, but it’s still brilliant to see our reputation being honoured by such a prestigious programme as the World Travel Awards. This accolade is proof that we are globally renowned for hosting spectacular events which draw visitors from across the globe.

“In the last year alone we’ve hosted the first-ever European Championships which saw over half a million spectators, another spectacular Celtic Connections with more than 130,000 attendances, the hugely successful 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships when we welcomed almost 21,000 fans to Emirates Arena over three fantastic days of competition, and next week we will host the 20th LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships in Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

“However we are not a city to rest and applaud our own success – we will continue to work hard and build on our previous experience to ensure Glasgow maintains its global reputation for hosting world-class events and festivals.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at Visit Scotland, said: “A massive congratulations to Glasgow on being awarded the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination 2019 at the World Travel Awards. They are a hugely deserving winner having built strong reputation in delivering innovative and world-class international cultural and sporting events including 2014 Commonwealth Games, Celtic Connections and last year’s European Championships and Festival 2018.

“Since EventScotland’s inception in 2003, we have built a strong relationship with the city through our work with Glasgow Life, helping bid for and secure a number of events over the years including most recently the inaugural UCI 2023 Cycling World Championships. It is through this close working relationship that we can ensure Scotland maintains it enviable reputation as the perfect stage for events.”