A TOURISM expert has said the economic impact of Banksy’s Glasgow exhibition should “at least equal if not surpass” that of his debut exhibition in Bristol – which brought more than £10 million to the city.

The exhibition, Cut & Run, kicks off on Sunday at the Gallery of Modern Art following a shock surprise announcement on Wednesday, and will run for about 10 weeks until August 28, 2023.

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The first and most recent solo exhibition of Banksy’s work was 14 years ago in the artist’s home town of Bristol, and ran for a similar period.

The Banksy versus Bristol Museum exhibition drew in over 300,000 people in its six-week run in 2009 and almost half of those trips were from non-local people, according to data from Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and Visit West.

This meant the exhibition generated as many as 140,170 additional trips to Bristol which would not have otherwise taken place.

According to the data, spending generated by non-local visitors whose trips were solely motivated by the Banksy exhibition made up a total of £6,169,610 by staying visitors and £4,238,736 by day visitors.

Speaking on the success of the Bristol Museum exhibition in 2009, Kathryn Davis, managing director of Visit West, said the event "created a swell of feelgood civic pride that this major event could simply spring its doors open" after managing to keep its planning a "closely guarded secret".

She added: "It was a great exhibition that attracted visitors and boosted the local economy. And the world wanted to come to us."

Professor John Lennon, director of Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, said he is excited to see how the figures will compare with Glasgow's at the exhibition's conclusion.

He told The National: "Obviously Banksy's reputation is going to have grown significantly since [2009], and awareness of him will have grown significantly.

“Banksys are actually on maps and guides in London now – there’s a folklore to it.

“You would certainly expect these figures to be equalled if not surpassed now. If you can’t equal that I’d be very disappointed.

He added: “Banksy is a bit of an outlier. There’s not many who are in the popular consciousness and also constitute a collector’s high-quality art. That is really unusual.”

The exhibition will coincide with Edinburgh’s world-renowned Fringe Festival, the world’s largest performance arts festival.

Lennon said that he hopes the two artistic experiences will have a “symbiotic” relationship, with people visiting the Banksy exhibition then heading over to the Fringe, and vice-versa.

He added: “The Fringe is dominated by comedy and there’s a lot of humour in what Banksy does so I think there is a congruence there.

“The more co-operation you can get between two great and contrasting cities the better.”

Lennon also emphasised the cultural significance of Banksy coming to Scotland.

He said: “if you’re going to locate Banksy anywhere then there’s a natural home in Glasgow I think, with the music, the arts scene, the amount of music and turner prize winners Glasgow produces."

Lennon also said he was hopeful that the exhibition would convert many locals and visitors into regular museum-goers, pointing to Glasgow's plethora of free galleries as ideal targets.

"If you turn just 15% of the visitors into art gallery visitors, that would be a win," he said.

Discussing whether Banksy being Bristolian played a role in his 2009 exhibition’s popularity, he said: “I thought about that, local boy makes good and all that, but I actually think it’s the work more than where the guy was born.

“He does have that radical perspective that tends to be liberal, democratic, pro-freedom of expression. Glasgow’s not exactly a conservative bastion … Banksy would find a home in this area.”

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Banksy’s Bristol exhibition in 2009 saw people turn up more than two hours before the museum opened, and still facing over four-hour-long queues on some occasions.

Lennon added: “15 years on you would expect ticket technology to be smarter – which it is – so I do think the tech will help reduce the queues, but I would imagine, if it’s anything like [Jack Vettriano’s 2013 exhibition] then it will be really busy.”

The tourism expert compared the event to Scottish artist Jack Vettriano’s 2013 retrospective exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery which itself broke records, drawing in more than 100,000 visitors to Glasgow.

The Scottish Government also praised the exhibition as a step towards becoming an international leader in tourism. A spokesperson said: “We welcome Banksy’s decision to bring his work to Glasgow, confirming Scotland’s status as a centre for culture, and undoubtedly boosting tourism.

“Scotland’s national tourism strategy – Scotland Outlook 2030 – outlines our ambition to become a world leader in 21st century tourism.

“This exhibition will definitively contribute to achieving that aim.”