According to the Scotland on Sunday, the Americans are less than impressed with proposals for Tartan Week.
I had heard rumours a few weeks ago that the organisers in New York and elsewhere in America were unhappy that the Scottish Govt had interfered with the celebration, especially the proposal to change the name to Scotland Week. I understand they felt that the Scots had been heavy handed in the way they dealt with the organisers, especially as some of them felt that the event was being 'hijacked' by the Scots. It was a blunder to organise a major event on the same night as the St Andrews' Society Ball.
I'm not surprised they aren't happy, although I agree that the event should provide more focus on attracting inward investment from the USA, this need not mean that the 'party element' should be ditched altogether. It just needs to be more balanced.
Tartan Week offers the opportunity to tempt Americans, not just Americans of Scottish descent to Scotland. In fact, according to VisitScotland, in 2006, no fewer than 475,000 trips to Scotland came from the USA. Even better, the Americans who came here spent no less than 361 million pounds. Easily outstripping second place Germany who spent 123million pounds. Not just that, but Americans seem genuinely interested in our history. I found this out for myself as a manager for Historic Scotland, and I found them to be very pleasant people to chat to.
Personally, I'd be looking at working more closely with those who have put so much effort into sustaining and developing Tartan Week in America for a decade rather than simply trying to take it over as seems to be the case. Of course the event isn't perfect, but a bit more co-operation and understanding could clearly make it a lot better, and hopefully more productive.