A £1.44m tourism grant launches its second wave of applications, with Fiona Hyslop MSP encouraging businesses led tourism organisations across the industry to apply for a chance to create exciting high impact development projects to entice international visitors to Scotland.
The Scottish Enterprise Tourism Destination Development Fund was launched in March 2016, with the aim of increasing the quality of visitor experiences to Scotland and ultimately increasing visitor spend.
The fund is aimed at tourism destinations, within the Scottish Enterprise region’s rural areas and smaller cities and forms part of Scottish Enterprise’s wider, £5.24m support package for the development of the tourism sector in destinations in the rest of Scotland including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh & Glasgow.
The fund offers up to £250,000 to groups of businesses, working together under a lead organisation. A call for expressions of interest from applicants will be open from Friday 10th February until the 21st of April with funding decisions expected in October 2017.
Round 1 of the fund, which took place in 2016, saw over 20 projects from across Scotland bid for funding. Five projects were successful and awards were made to Love Loch Lomond, Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group, Scottish Canals, Cairngorms Business Partnership and the Forth Bridge Cruise Project.
Each of the successful destinations have identified a key tourism asset or theme as their focus, and are bringing innovative concepts such as augmented reality tours, advanced data analytics, smart ticketing and mobile applications to create a world class visitor experience.
To ensure that local businesses across the destinations are clearly positioned to make the most of the funding, the projects will deliver activity that includes workshops and events to help businesses to develop new ideas, products and services; learning journeys, market research and international market development. The activity is all focused on businesses working more collaboratively to grow their bottom line from attracting new customers.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:
”Scotland’s many wonderful destinations provide a truly unique backdrop for our visitors, with dramatic landscapes and seascapes, rich, colourful histories and vibrant culture. They provide millions of exciting experiences each year and provide a warm welcome in all parts of our beautiful country.
“This fund will provide a further opportunity for those destinations beyond our cities to make the most of their valuable tourism assets and to ensure that, wherever our visitors go in Scotland, they can enjoy a memorable and high-quality tourism experience.”
Danny Cusick, Director, Food and Drink Tourism and Textiles, Scottish Enterprise said: “This fund is critical in ensuring visitors to Scotland can enjoy a quality and consistent experience, not just in the major cities but in throughout all of Scotland’s wealth of tourism assets. We are aware of the vital role tourism plays across all of Scotland in terms of creating sustainable jobs, attracting international investment and creating and growing entrepreneurial Scottish businesses.
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Tourism Alliance
The Destination Development fund is an excellent opportunity for groups to apply for additional income to deliver collaborative projects that will help stimulate tourism growth in their local economy - I would encourage those who already have ideas for projects and feel well placed to do deliver them to apply.
Find out more & apply here