Our visitors’ journey to and around Scotland is dependent on many components, many of which are beyond the immediate influence of the tourism industry and are long-term in the planning and delivery. As the industry works better together and strategies are aligned, the role which the tourism sector can play in influencing and shaping investment decisions has become evident.
Of particular relevance to the tourism industry are:
- Digital connectivity: improving both broadband and mobile coverage to maximise the digital opportunities across Scotland.
- Direct flight access into Scotland: increase the number of flights from key growth market to meet international demand and increase international visitor spend.
- Surface transport network: support for the introduction of integrated ticketing to make travel across Scotland simpler for visitors.
- Built infrastructure and public realm: ensure that the tourism voice is considered as part of discussions on new facilities and infrastructure projects, and forge closer working with organisations involved with maintaining the quality of public spaces.
- Business Growth Finance: to compete and grow, tourism businesses need to invest therefore access to finance is essential.
In order to make progress on these issues:
- Maximise the use of real-time data to inform strategic and operational decisions. We need to improve access to effective analytical tools and support industry to use data in new and innovative ways in order understand future trends.
- Working with key agencies and partners, using the National Tourism Development Framework (see below), City Plans and Accommodation Prospectuses, the STA will lead a process to identify specific investment gaps in these areas. This process will consist of working with industry to identify potential projects and establish an agreed prioritised 20-30 year Tourism Development Plan.
- VisitScotland is leading a process with local planning authorities and national stakeholders to refresh the National Tourism Development Framework and associated action plans. A revised document is expected in June 2016. A mapping and gapping exercise to overlay predicted demand for transport, accommodation and attractions with current supply is also underway which will assist future targeting of development planning and interventions by both the public sector and commercial developers.
- Engage industry groups with key organisations delivering the Scottish Government’s Public Wireless Programme to develop initiatives required to exceed visitors’ digital expectations.
- The Scottish Tourism Alliance, in conjunction with the industry, will continue to use its Policy Agenda for Competitiveness and Growth to influence Government and strategic developments.
Watch this space - under development