Scotland’s Next Tourism Strategy – Update

Wed 4 Sep 19

Scotland’s national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020, was launched in June 2012 and had a timeframe for delivery of 2012-2020 with a mid-term review planned and carried out in 2016.

With 2020 fast approaching, a refresh of the national tourism strategy is underway.  This refresh aims to reflect the changing tourism landscape that we are operating in and to ensure that we continue to maximise the economic contribution of tourism to Scotland.

Over the last few months, the STA has been particularly busy leading and co-ordinating Scotland-wide activity on the strategy refresh.

To ensure a strategic, collaborative and inclusive approach is taken to the development of the next national tourism strategy for Scotland (and the subsequent supporting action plan), a Strategy Steering Group (SSG) was appointed by the Tourism Leadership Group (TLG). The Strategy Steering Group consists of a partnership between industry, Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highland & Islands Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland.

The SSG has responsibility for leading and shaping the development of the new strategy Beyond 2020 and will collectively aim to produce an ambitious updated strategy for the future of Scotland’s tourism industry which will be launched with a supporting detailed action plan in March 2020.

To support the strategy development process an evidence base was created with input from all partners. A key piece of primary research was a review of Tourism Scotland 2020.


TS2020 Review

Earlier in the summer, economic development consultants, ekosgen were commissioned by Scottish Enterprise to undertake the TS2020 review.

The review focused on four areas,

1. Performance review

2. Progress and delivery

3. Collective impact

4. Key learnings.

The review has involved 1-2-1 consultations, a business survey, and a collective impact survey. The final report has now been completed and will be shared at the STA Autumn Conference in October 2019.


Creating A New Vision For Tourism In Scotland

Informed by a forward looking evidence base, which included output from a set of industry consultation engagements led by VisitScotland, a ‘Vision Creation’ workshop was held in late spring. This workshop brought together the Strategy Steering Group and the Tourism Leadership Group to define the future Vision and Mission for tourism in Scotland beyond 2020. Having defined this, further work was undertaken to identify particular Areas of Focus that the strategy should prioritise in order to be able to reach the Vision. The Vision, Mission and priority Areas of Focus were all tested with stakeholders.


Stakeholder Consultation

A series of six regional workshop events and three focus groups took place across Scotland during the summer 2019 to engage industry wide stakeholders in the development of the strategy. The regional workshops took place in Inverness, Edinburgh, Helensburgh, Moffat, Dundee and Saltcoats and invitees were in the main senior representatives of industry businesses, agencies and support sectors.  The focus groups were held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness and engaged young people working in the sector.  A total of 120 people engaged with these activities.

In addition to the stakeholder consultation events, comment was also sought from other key stakeholder groups.


Building a Future Strategy For Tourism in Scotland 

Taking on board the constructive feedback from the engagement events, the Vision and Mission are now being further developed by The Union marketing agency in Edinburgh.

In addition, output from the engagement events has helped to further shape the Strategic Priorities and work continues apace to build the draft Strategy framework.


Next Steps

A draft Tourism Strategy will be presented to delegates at the STA Autumn Conference on 7th October, where facilitated round table discussions will give delegates the opportunity to offer immediate thoughts. Further engagement events to validate the draft will take place in October / November.

Final Strategy revisions and action planning will take place over the winter months.

A new tourism strategy for Scotland and accompanying action plan will be launched at the STA Signature Session 2020 on 4th March.

If you would like to attend the STA Autumn Conference and be present at the A Shared Vision for Scottish Tourism Beyond 2020 to offer your views and feedback, please click here to secure your ticket.

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