EDINBURGH has been left out of a £3 million advertising campaign to boost business in Britain’s cities – including Glasgow.
Heathrow Airport is to provide Scotland’s largest city and five other city-regions with a six-week marketing blitz each, worth £500,000.
The UK’s busiest airport described the move as “an advertising partnership with several great cities”.
Edinburgh will not be part of the push, to the surprise and annoyance of the Capital’s business and aviation chiefs.
Poster sites and exhibition space in Heathrow’s five terminals will instead promote north-east England, Northern Ireland, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff and Bristol from next month.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “As the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow is our front door for global investors. I hope that by encouraging them to visit and invest in our great cities, we can help to grow and rebalance the British economy.”
However, an Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: “When Edinburgh Airport was part of BAA, many of the Heathrow execs didn’t know where it was, so we’re not surprised to find we’ve been excluded from this promotion.
“We’re not sure that leaving out Scotland’s capital city is the best way to proceed, but we’re grateful that our colleagues in Heathrow don’t think that we need any assistance in attracting passengers.”
Marketing Edinburgh, which promotes the Capital, said the city should have been included to help it keep up with the competition.
Chief executive John Donnelly said: “I’m genuinely very surprised and slightly disappointed.
“To maintain our standards, we need to promote ourselves to the world.”
But Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce signalled that the city could do without the campaign.
Its spokeswoman said: “Edinburgh is already a hugely successful business destination with an unrivalled combination of state-of-the-art venues, infrastructure and a unique cultural backdrop.
“Business travel to the capital contributes to the continuing strong growth of Edinburgh Airport’s passenger figures – both from domestic and international travellers – as it outperforms the rest of Scotland.
“The ripple effect of these visitors is an ongoing boost for the city’s indigenous business community.”
A Heathrow spokesman stressed that other cities could be included in future campaigns, and it had launched a Scotland-wide advertising drive in December.
He said: “On this initiative we’ve partnered with Glasgow. If the programme is a success, we’d be looking to roll it out to further cities across the UK.
“We’ll of course look to keep working with partners across Scotland, and are proud to have been able to partner with VisitScotland on the £1 million ‘Meet the Scots’ tourism campaign.”