Tourism strategy hailed as the ‘dawning of a new era’

Karen Christie, Tourism Strategy Project Manager Lawrence Durden, Tourism Industry Manager, Skills Development Scotland Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive, VisitScotland Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance/Chair of the Tourism Strategy Steering Group Anna Miller, Head of Tourism, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Derek McCrindle, Head of Place, Scottish Enterprise

SCOTLAND’S future tourism strategy, ‘Scotland Outlook 2030’ was officially launched at the Scottish Tourism Alliance Signature Conference in Glasgow.

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP took to the stage to endorse the strategy, which has the vision of Scotland becoming the world leader in 21st century tourism, and announced a £5.5M funding package over the next five years.

The Scottish Government and Visit Scotland have created the new £5.5 million fund to support the implementation of the strategy which has been developed through a shared vision and strong partnership between the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland.

It has been guided by the Strategy Steering Group with representatives from industry, public bodies and the partner organisations with the input of around 2500 stakeholders.

Scotland Outlook 2030 acknowledges that tourism has a significant role in delivering Scotland’s wider economic strategy, cutting across every sector and is a bold new approach that will see tourism act positively in the common interest of Scotland’s communities, businessesand everyone who visits and stays in Scotland.

It recognises that role of tourism has changed as a result of our climate crisis, advances in technology, EU exit and changes in consumer behaviour which is reflected in the demands of today’s traveller.

The strategy has been developed as a response to this dynamic change and acknowledges the need now for our tourism industry, government, public sector and communities to collectively respond, adapt and work together to deliver responsible, sustainable and managed growth for the future. 

Four key priorities have been identified as the cornerstones of the strategy – ‘Our passionate people’, ‘Our thriving places’, ‘Our diverse businesses’ and ‘Our memorable experiences’, each with a set of measurable commitments which will be delivered by government, industry, private and public sector with Scotland’s communities.

The strategy also outlines the challenges and threats to our industry along with the opportunities that can be capitalised on to realise the bold new ambition of being the world leaders in 21st century tourism.

The national tourism conference provided the backdrop for the new strategy launch with the one-and-a-half day event built around four Signature Sessions to mirror the key priorities.  The event, the largest to be staged by the STA welcomed just under 500 delegates and a host of international and homegrown tourism experts.

Themes such as food tourism, sustainability, events and experiences, transport, innovation and building a strong workforce for the future provide the focus for this year’s event and delegates will also hear from tourism experts with experience of delivering bold new tourism strategies in destinations such as Holland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

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