Scottish Tourism Alliance unveils manifesto calling on future Scottish government to support growth and competitiveness of Scottish tourism industry.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has today unveiled its Manifesto to political parties ahead of next year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.
Details of the document, ‘A Tourism Industry Manifesto for Growth & Competitiveness Towards 2020’ have just been announced to over 300 industry leaders at the STA’s AGM and Autumn Conference this afternoon at Edinburgh’s EICC.
The manifesto outlines how a future Scottish Government can support the tourism industry by driving growth, creating a sector better able to compete on the international stage through increased support for marketing, innovation and enterprise.
As an independent trade body comprising over 250 trade associations, businesses, destination groups and other organisations with an interest in tourism, the STA represents and connects with over 75% of the tourism industry in Scotland.
Through its role as the Tourism Leadership Group, the STA is the guardian of the national tourism strategy: Tourism Scotland 2020 on behalf of the industry and Government.
The manifesto was produced over a two-month consultation period with the STA Board, a select working Sub-Group and the STA Council and highlights key opportunities which will drive the growth of what Scottish Government has acknowledged as a hugely important sector.
Commenting on the submission of the manifesto to political parties, Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said “The STA Vision is to lead an engaged and united Scottish tourism industry in the delivery of an ambitious shared strategy for growth and to make Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience. Tourism has come a long way in recent years but we have many challenges which prevent Scotland from being as competitive as it could or should be, all of which we have explored and highlighted in our manifesto. International competition is increasingly fierce and as a small country, we need to ensure that Scotland remains attractive, accessible and affordable and offers visitors a consistently high quality experience.”
Stephen Leckie, Chairman of the STA added; “The industry is committed to working with Scottish Government and its agencies to deliver this strategy. Our manifesto outlines a collaborative and partnership approach and we believe that by working together and through increased support for marketing, innovation and enterprise, we can drive growth and create a sector better able to compete on the international stage. We are confident that given the breadth of consultation to produce this manifesto, that we are truly representative of the views of the majority operating in the tourism sector.”
The organisation outlines specific areas in which a future Scottish government can support the industry to reach its growth ambition:
Minimise the burden of regulation and associated costs
Recognise the essential role of marketing Scotland at UK and international levels
Provide sustainable support to enable industry to deliver ‘high quality, value for money and memorable experiences’
Support the growth of a skilled, professional and inclusive tourism workforce
Continue investment in Scotland’s digital infrastructure to accelerate growth
Align transport policies, practice and taxation with the industry’s tourism strategy