Còsagach– an old Scottish word which describes the feeling of being snug, sheltered or cosy – has been identified by VisitScotland as a new trend for 2018, which could rival the Danish concept of Hygge.
Scotland is world renowned for its hospitality, most recently being voted Most Welcoming Country by Rough Guides readers, and now the national tourism organisation is encouraging businesses to create environments which “induce a feeling of warmth or cosiness” where visitors can relax and unwind.
Almost a quarter of visitors come to Scotland to get away from it all, whilst more than 4 million UK visitors mentioned relaxing as something they did when here.
Còsagach is just one of the trends identified by VisitScotland’s Insight Department, published here today (11 December), and comes off the back of a boom in the trend for Hygge, a Danish word described as a type of cosiness and comfort that engages a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Referring to Còsagach, the Trends paper reads: “With tranquil seascapes, vast open spaces and many warm and welcoming pubs, Scotland is a perfect place for your well-being.”
That feeling of well-being also forms the basis for another trend, “Wellness”, where visitors seek escapism from technology and their fast-paced lives in tourism-related activities, to recharge their mind and body.
“Elemental Tourism” identifies an opportunity for businesses to address the “balance of tourism provision” by collaborating to drive visitor traffic to tourism hotspots outside of the norm, while “Every Touch Point…” highlights the importance of a social media presence and businesses seeing themselves through the camera lens.
The 2018 trends represent elements of consumer and industry behaviour expected to develop over the next 18 to 24 months.
Designed to stimulate thought among Scottish tourism businesses, the paper also identifies a number of digital trends:
• Augmented Virtual Reality – From viewing hotel rooms, to digital reconstructions of medieval castles, technology is being utilised to enhance and support the tourism experience globally.
• Communi-gagement – Utilising social media platforms such as Snapchat, Periscope, as well as Facebook and Instagram Live, tourism businesses may have untapped resources to showcase their product.
• Challenging Fake News – Businesses are challenging consumers to prove the validity and integrity of their products.
• Retro-tainment – Providing nostalgic experiences to your consumers offer an innovative selling point to differentiate your business from competitors.
• Authenticity & Immersion – Tourism businesses should be aware of the opportunities to incorporate provincial and authentic experiences to enhance the overall tourism product.
Businesses are encouraged to identify which trends may appeal to their product and build on it.
Chris Greenwood, Senior Tourism Insight Manager at VisitScotland, said: “In today’s rapidly changing world, having an informed outlook is vital.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change – and is increasingly sensitive to consumer trends and economic conditions.
“Our annual trends review has highlighted key trends developing within the tourism sector for the coming year, with the intangible link between the visitor and landscape set to play a significant role.”
To view VisitScotland Trends 2018, go to: http://www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/trends_and_insights.aspx
Picture credit: Jack Boothby, The Lazy Duck, Nethy Bridge