Tourism Scotland 2020

Tourism Scotland 2020 is the national tourism strategy. It was launched in 2012, following an extensive refresh of the previous strategy, Tourism - A Framework for Change. 

TS2020 Front Cover TS2020 Strategy Rocket

Download the full Tourism Scotland 2020 Strategy here 

Download the Tourism Scotland 2020 Summary here 

The following information provides background to the process which resulted in Scotland's first industry-led tourism strategy.

The refresh was taken forwards in a four stage process, which was overseen by the newly established Tourism Leadership Group under the Chairmanship of Stephen Leckie of Crieff Hydro and support by the public agencies. The four stages were:

Stage 1: A broad analysis of the industry contributions from a wide range of businesses. (Completed May 2011).

This stage identified six early priorities for action to be taken forward in parallel with the strategy development:

  1. Developing markets
  2. Maximising quality and value
  3. Enhancing and improving visitor facilities
  4. Responding to internal and external change
  5. Providing industry leadership and strategic direction
  6. Calling for infrastructure improvements

It also provided information and analysis which will inform the refreshed strategy:

  1. Growing the industry is challenging. 
  2. Scotland is a mature destination, operating in established markets. 
  3. Visitor numbers are unlikely to increase very rapidly, so significant efforts
  4. New solutions are needed to stimulate a growth in value.

There are market opportunities in both:

  • Existing markets: English & Scottish short break markets (eg 29% of England residents have yet to experience a leisure visit to Scotland but say they’d like to) and adding value in established markets overseas focusing on golf, culture, heritage and business tourism.
  • Emerging markets: over the medium to longer-term, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Eastern Europe. 

Scotland has strong tourism capabilities which can be used to exploit these opportunities, including:

  • Natural & built assets – quality of the landscape, natural & built heritage, city & rural, culture, safe place
  • Activities – range of things to do (both outdoors & city)
  • Distinctiveness of the destination
    • Our people

However it also has a number of constraints, particularly around value for money, inconsistent quality (of experience, accommodation, food & drink, service and retail offering), transport, skills investment, industry leadership, investment finance and culture of dependency on the public sector. 

Stage 2:

The findings from Stage 1 were used to inform more in-depth specific research focussed on  trends and markets (reviewing global market and industry trends to identify and as far as possible quantify the best opportunities for Scotland), Scottish industry analysis (identifying the key capabilities and constraints for Scotland’s tourism industry which would support or hinder our ability to exploit the opportunities identified through trends and markets analysis) and  comparator analysis (identifying best practice from elsewhere that could help Scotland exploit growth market opportunities). Stage 2 findings are published below. (Completed February 2012)

Stage 3:

Developed focus for the strategy, based on the above research. Establish a headline target and other key performance indicators. The outcome is a draft strategy model. (Completed March 2012)

Stage 4: Tested the model with stakeholders, building commitment and identifying priorities for action. (Completed June 2012)

Refreshed Strategy: Included a vision, headline target and other KPIs, quantified market opportunities matched to Scotland’s capabilities, and priorities for action. Launched June 2012.


STAGE 2 FINDINGS (Feb/Mar 2012)