For destination authorities, be they DMOs, local authorities or inward investment agencies, the key is to find how the destination’s economy can gain real benefits from taking an open-minded approach to the collaborative economy whilst seeking to reduce any negative effects.
That’s the smart approach that’s we've been taking in Scotland with various public and private organisations including Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Scottish Government, working in collaboration with TOPOSOPHY Ltd.
The Scottish Government has already taken steps in this direction by setting up an Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy whose aim is to provide advice, expertise and experience for policy development on the collaborative economy, as well to make recommendations to Scottish Ministers on how Scotland can position itself to take advantage of the opportunities of the collaborative economy and overcome any regulatory, economic and social challenges.
SE has commissioned a wide-ranging study that'll have a strong focus on Scotland’s tourism sector. Entitled The Collaborative Economy and Scottish Tourism, this study which kicked off in July involves collecting evidence from a wide range of stakeholders in Scotland, both inside and outside the tourism sector. With the aim of helping the Scottish tourism sector reap the benefits offered by global P2P platforms whilst looking to take smart decisions on regulation, the Scottish Government. as a whole, is taking a grown-up approach to a complex phenomenon.
The team has already started work on a project that will draw on insights on the collaborative economy in a variety of ways to help SE and our partners make informed decisions in the future. Work will include:
• Carrying out a detailed online survey amongst various stakeholder groups, Scottish tourism businesses, destination management organisations, industry groups, P2P platforms, tech companies, universities and local community groups.
• Making personal interviews with selected representatives from each group in order to understand their views in more depth.
• Making a comparative review of legislation surrounding collaborative economy activities in Scotland, the rest of the UK, the EU and the rest of the world. This will cover areas such as taxation, legal liability, zoning, consumer protection, health & safety and quality control.
• Examining the latest trends and major players across a range of sectors, accommodation, tours, meals and activities, transportation and domestic services.
• Holding an interactive event with a range of Scottish tourism stakeholders to understand their views first hand, as well as initial reactions to the online survey.
A full report of all the findings will be issued this November and stakeholders from across Scotland have already told us that they’re keen to see the results.
Across Europe, thousands of professionals responsible for tourism, city planning and economic development have realised that inaction on the sharing economy is not an option and have, therefore, turned to us for insights and guidance. So far, we’ve presented our sharing economy masterclass in 25 conferences in 15 cities, and have shared our high-quality, tailor-made content to more than 5,000 attendees. We’re pleased that SE has taken the leap, and are proud to be working with this forward-looking government agency.
If you're working with businesses who are involved or interested in the collaborative economy, please let them know that they can participate in our survey.