AT the start of September last year, I was contacted by a producer for CNN International’s Business Traveller program.

They wanted to speak to me about operating an independent local website, the challenges facing destinations and what things were like for tourism here in Glasgow.

It was an unexpected invitation, but before I knew it, I was in front of the camera, standing on the balcony of the Radisson Red Hotel, pointing out a sweep of local landmarks to presenter Richard Guest. We had a wide-ranging conversation that was condensed to a couple of minutes, broadcasted four months ago.

I was asked about over-tourism – the way some destinations are finding parts of their cities over-run with visitors. It was characterised as one of the biggest challenges in global tourism today. Events have overtaken this viewpoint.

At the end of the interview, I was challenged about Glasgow: “It’s not always at the top of the list for tourists is it?” Quest remarked. I explained that apart from the obvious attractions, the most interesting thing about the city right now was the way that lots of creativity was emerging at the same time across music, food, art and events. “We are re-educating people about what Glasgow is all about.”

I have been thinking about this interview, both because it seems to hark back to a bygone age, and because it sheds light on two particular questions that will be part of our near future: Can we encourage visitors to return to Glasgow and will the creative momentum continue in our neighbourhoods.

Last weekend, I was involved in an online event called Sofathon Singalong. Not the catchiest name in the world, but an excellent concept. More than 70 musicians broadcast on the Glasgowist, King Tut’s and Gigs in Scotland Facebook pages over the course of 24 hours. Performers for these lockdown sessions ranged from established names like Kyle Falconer and KT Tunstall singing from their living rooms, to young emerging acts waking up early in the morning to live-stream from their couch to thousands of people.

The initiative was led by Lothian singer Luke La Volpe and raised money for the Music Venue Trust’s emergency appeal. It was a powerful thing to see so many people listening to music together, while apart. The songs reached a socially-distancing audience in Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Germany, the United States and many other countries.

I was encouraged by the comments made by viewers. There was a strong thread that ran throughout the day. It was clear that people around the world have a tangible connection to Glasgow. The local development plan earmarked a substantial increase in hotel numbers by 2022 and there are continuing plans to open new accommodation. We can only hope that when global travel returns to some semblance of normality, this will translate into renewed tourism. A Glasgow gathering of the half a million or so people who watched remotely as local musicians played at the weekend, would be a great start, when bands return to more tradition stages.

That interesting part of the city where art meets music and hospitality is currently closed. The day of music at the weekend served as a rolling demonstration of the talent that resides behind closed doors right now.

It’s a reminder to cherish the venues that foster the development of these artists. The same goes for the independent cafes and restaurants that are boarded up. The bars that can’t welcome their regulars. The theatres that have gone dark.

There’s places in Glasgow that you can’t find anywhere else. When this is over, they will need a burst of local personality to restore them to their usual condition. Be ready.