QUALITY IS KEY TO SUCCESS
The tourism industry's future in the tourism industry's hands
A strategy for quality and growth devised for the industry by the industry. That was the resounding message from Scotland's tourism businesses today.
The Tourism Industry Leadership Group has developed a new strategy, a collaborative effort from right across Scotland's tourism industry, which has quality, value for money and exceeding customer expectations at its core.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance will lead the delivery of the strategy, which was launched today along with representatives from tourism businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The strategy's common goal is to make Scotland a quality destination of 'first choice', where the nation's outstanding tourism assets (for example, nature, heritage, and destination towns & cities) are maximised to their full potential and turned into rich experiences for visitors.
Stephen Leckie, Chair of the Tourism Leadership Group and the Scottish Tourism Alliance, welcomed the partnership approach: "Never before have we seen such an industry-led collaborative vision to grow tourism. This strategy puts the responsibility in the industry's hands and highlights the fact that now, more than ever, we have to work together and seize every opportunity for growth."
"It doesn't matter whether you're a small B&B or a huge resort hotel, there's a chance to make tourism deliver sustainable, long-term growth that will not only bolster individual businesses but ultimately act as the economic bedrock of the Scottish economy. This is an ambitious strategy, but working together we can make sure it's achievable."
Tourism is already one of Scotland's strongest economic contributors, with overnight visits generating in excess of £4.5 billion annually and day visits adding a further £6.2 billion. Given that tourism accounts for some 200,000 jobs across 20,000 businesses, the strategy's emphasis on collective action and common goals is critical.
So too is the need to know our markets and work together to get our messages across, making much greater use of the powerful Scottish tourism brand across our range of visitor experiences.
Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: "We need to act now and act together, we need to use research to our full advantage and focus closely on the customer's overall experience – not just hone in on individual products and businesses – working together to shape Scotland's many wonderful assets into the authentic, quality experiences that visitors are looking for. We also need to strengthen our leadership across the industry – in our businesses, locally and nationally – to give us a solid platform for growth. These are some of the priorities for action which we will be building into our detailed action plan – setting out how we will deliver this ambitious strategy for growth."
The strategy, which aims to achieve an overnight visitor spend of between £5.5bn and £6.5bn by 2020, generating an additional £1 billion or more, looks at the importance of raising and maintaining high levels of quality and customer service – in particular addressing any variations in quality when it comes to accommodation, eating out, travelling, internet and mobile phone coverage. It calls on the industry to commit to gaining and enhancing the relevant skills, knowledge and customer-focused attitude required to deliver consistently high quality experiences for every type of visitor.
Russell Imrie, Managing Director Queensferry Hotels commented: "Playing to our strengths is vital – we need to really make the most of the unique appeal Scotland has and work together to make the offering exceed visitor expectations on every level, every time. We then need to embrace the specific opportunities to match what different markets are looking for from their visit to Scotland. And we need to get it right and get it right every time if we're to see true growth."
Fergus Ewing, Scotland's Tourism Minister, said: "This Tourism strategy has been developed by the industry for the industry and it is underpinned by strong leadership and commitment at every level.
"It concentrates on quality and people and if every person in every business that a visitor encounters when they visit Scotland gets the quality right, then each and every business can flourish and grow.
"The Scottish Government and our agencies will do all we can to support the sector as it takes the strategy forward and we will collaborate closely to make sure that our assistance is targeted where it is needed most."
Contact: Scottish Tourism Alliance
Tel 01786 459235
Notes for editors
The £5.5-6.5 billion and the £1 billion or more are in real terms, at 2011 prices, i.e. they would represent real growth on top of inflation.