Experience Scotland DMC Presents: « Scotland 2020 » Plan Exlained

In June 2012, the Tourism Leader Group (TLG) and the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) launched Tourism Scotland 2020, a campaign aimed at maintaining Scotland’s role as world-leading destination. The campaign reaffirms the Scottish government’s support of the country’s thriving industry, lending both financial and symbolic backing to an increasingly diverse sector.

Indeed, the importance of tourism to Scotland should not be underestimated. Government figures demonstrate that, in 2015, Scotland attracted 14.6 million visitors – almost three times the national population – while the industry as a whole contributed an enormous £6 billion to Scotland’s GDP. That the official tourism board is taking pains to safeguard the health of a sector which alone accounts for 5% of total Scottish GDP is a welcome development.

TS2020 seeks to build upon the considerable success enjoyed by Scottish tourism in recent years. Citing sporting events such as Glasgow’s role as host of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and The Ryder Cup’s move to Gleneagles later that year, the strategy is premised upon a double-pronged approach. On the one hand, the authorities will continue to invest in and market Scotland’s strengths – Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the food and drinks industry, among others. On the other, improvement is the watchword. TS2020 has been active in collecting feedback and criticism in order to clearly identify the areas where Scotland’s performance has been lagging, such as the variability in quality of accommodation around the country. With these concerns in mind, the campaign’s collective approach has set itself the task of ironing out the relatively minor creases in Scotland’s global image as a tourist destination.

In addition to improving Scotland’s overall performance in visitors’ eyes, TS2020 has reassessed the dominant and emerging markets set to impact the industry in the coming years. While ‘near neighbours’ such as France and The Netherlands continue to contribute healthily towards the economic performance of Scotland’s tourism sector, TS2020 is already weighing up the potential for emerging markets such as India and Brazil to establish strong ties with Scotland.

In spite of Scotland’s recent exponential rise in the world of travel – a fact to which Rough Guides can testify – the industry is guarding against any form of complacency. This to be commended. But, considering the ever-increasing demand from visitors around the world to visit Scotland, constant improvement will, above all, be necessary if the country is to maintain its shining global image.

By: Experience Scotland – Destination Management Company



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