The popular travel guide, Lonely Planet, has named Glasgow as one of the ten best cities in the world.
The new list, which was released to promote the ten cities Lonely Planet recommends visiting in 2009, also includes choices as diverse as Beirut, Warsaw and Shanghai.
Half of the selections are European destinations, and three entrants – Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Shanghai – are also amongst the ten largest cities in the world by population size. The choices are not individually ranked, and Glasgow is the only nomination from the UK.
Speaking to Guardian, Tom Hall of Lonely Planet explained why Glasgow was chosen.
He said: “[Glasgow] was included because it showed Scotland as a modern, forward looking country. Its energy and friendliness were also mentioned [in it’s citation], as were the city’s excellent art and nightlife scenes.”
The list is equally notable for its absences. Cities often thought of as more conventional choices for tourists – such as Paris, New York and London – have all been omitted, reflecting Lonely Planet’s original remit; catering for backpackers looking to avoid so-called tourist traps in favour of a more low-key approach towards travelling.
When asked whether there were any factors that led to Glasgow being chosen over other UK towns, Hall explained that the decision was more dependent on the city’s individual characteristics.
He said: “As Glasgow was chosen by an international panel of Lonely Planet’s publishers who get together and have a big argument about where to include, it wasn’t really preferred to other cities. It stood on its own merits as an energetic, exciting city.”
Scott Taylor, the Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, welcomed the accolade as proof of Glasgow’s current international reputation.
He said: “Fun, chic and stylish are words which have become synonymous with Glasgow. To be offered such a solid endorsement from such a highly regarded guidebook is a welcome indicator of how the city is now perceived nationally and internationally.”