Scottish tourism targeting the top

New draft strategy aims to build on success of 2020 vision

By Jonathan Watt

SCOTLAND is gunning to be the world leader in 21st century tourism by 2030 – that’s the ultimate goal of Scotland’s new draft tourism strategy, which was revealed at the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) Annual Autumn Conference.

Unveiled by STA chief executive Marc Crothall (pictured) to over 400 delegates from across the Scottish tourism industry at the event in Edinburgh, the draft strategy for 2020 and beyond seeks to build on the successes of the group’s TS2020 strategy, while making sure the benefits of tourism are felt across Scotland and are sustainable in the long term.

Developed by the STA in collaboration with hospitality businesses, government and public bodies, the plan, which will be officially launched in Glasgow on March 4 next year following a consultation, outlined a number of objectives, including developing and retaining a skilled workforce, a better focus on embracing new technologies and innovation to increase competitiveness internationally, providing a wider range of visitor experiences that remain attractive as tourism trends change, and commitments to manage the impact of tourism on the country’s landscapes, scenery and heritage.

Crothall said the draft strategy signalled “a marked difference in our approach to delivering what we see a picture of success looking like”.

“We know that today’s traveller visits, books and experiences Scotland in a different way to what they did in 2012,” he said.

“We know that the global climate emergency agenda has shifted the way we think about where we travel and stay, how we get there.

“We also know that our domestic market is becoming ever more cautious in their decision making and that their level of spend on hospitality experiences is at risk of further decline. As such, there is an increasing need to attract more visitors and the right visitors to Scotland year-round, in order to grow our tourism industry.”