The hospitality industry will be the ‘face’ of Scotland in 2014, writes VisitScotland chief Malcolm Roughead
SCOTLAND is set to be thrust into the global spotlight in 2014.
That’s when we welcome the world, when our country hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and Homecoming – a year-long celebration of Scottish culture.
This undoubtedly presents Scotland with a fantastic opportunity to showcase itself to a worldwide audience.
Those people who will be travelling to Scotland to take in these magnificent events will be looking to make the most of their time here.
That includes making informed decisions on where to stay, where to eat and where to drink.
Scotland’s welcome is world-famous; next year we need to amplify it even further.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that it is the kind of welcome they are given and the kind of service they receive while in Scotland that will shape their decisions on whether to return.
This is not just about 2014.
We want our visitors to come back to Scotland long after the finishing line has been crossed at the Commonwealth Games, after the sun has set on the final tee at the Ryder Cup and after the final fireworks of Homecoming have been extinguished.
In this regard, in making our visitors’ experience something to remember for all the right reasons, Scotland’s hospitality industry has a major part to play.
I would like all members of this country’s hospitality industry to get involved, to embrace the opportunities the Games present.
Practical examples could be screening the Commonwealth action on big screens, a flexible approach to meal-serving times and ordering processes (such as pictures in menus) and always remembering that, as far as visitors are concerned, you are the face of Scotland.
Scotland’s welcome is world famous – there is simply no denying it.
Our research shows that when visitors come to our country, one of their main reasons is to meet passionate, engaging people full of stories, giving them a real and authentic experience.
Next year we need you to build on and amplify this spirit even further.
With more than a million tickets on offer throughout the Games, and a cultural festival that will run alongside it, Glasgow is going to be abuzz with excitement – a truly exceptional opportunity for the industry.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the hospitality industry, not only in Glasgow, but for the whole of Scotland.
Our message to visitors is clear: enjoy a magnificent Commonwealth Games, enjoy one of the best cities in the world – now go and enjoy the rest of Scotland.
The service visitors receive could influence whether they return to Scotland.
We’re investing millions of pounds in marketing the Games to people here in the United Kingdom.
But that’s not all – we’re embarking on a truly global campaign, with activity happening all over the Commonwealth to coincide with the Queen’s Baton Relay as it makes its way around the world.
• Malcolm Roughead is the chief executive of tourism marketing body VisitScotland.