Eddie Friel


A native of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Friel has spent more than 35 years in both the public and private sectors of the tourism industry in the United Kingdom, the United States, and in Canada. He is recognized as one of the key figures in transforming Glasgow, Scotland from a perceived decaying industrial city to a major tourist destination. Appointed the first chief executive of Greater Glasgow Tourist Board, Friel developed the policies that helped transform Glasgow, once a world shipbuilding capital, into an arts and cultural center that now employs twice as many people in the tourism industry as it did in shipbuilding. Among his many degrees and honors is his designation as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, bestowed upon him in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II for services to tourism in Scotland.