Thursday, 11 October 2012
Tourism businesses urged to capitalise on Scotland's £1.5 billion events and festivals market
Scottish tourism businesses are being challenged to look at ways of tapping into Scotland’s world-class events and festivals programme in the run up to 2014, when the country will host The Ryder Cup, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and a year-long Homecoming Scotland celebration.
Companies are being urged to take advantage of this business opportunity in a new Events, Festivals & Cultural Tourism in Scotland guide published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (TIS), as part of its Opportunities for Growth series. The guide is available to businesses that register at www.tourism-intelligence.co.uk
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I very much welcome this guide, which will enable tourism businesses all over the country to benefit from the many exciting events which are taking place over the next two years, and will attract so many visitors to this country.
“Scotland’s vibrant tourism industry makes a substantial contribution to our economy, and the Scottish Government and our enterprise and tourism agencies are determined to help businesses seize the enormous economic opportunities in the run up to 2014.
“In addition to our established events and festivals, the release and European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s Brave this summer has captured the imagination of many people globally, the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and second year of Homecoming in 2014 will further raise Scotland’s profile.”
[Pictured: Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.]
Scotland’s events programme already offers a significant contribution to the country’s economy, generating almost £1.5 billion in gross turnover per annum, with Mintel research describing events as ‘affordable escapism’, meaning that visitors put these experiences above other spending options. Indeed, UK visitor spend on music concerts and festivals alone has grown significantly, by 69%, in the last five years.
The new guide provides tourism operators with the latest intelligence on Scotland’s events and cultural tourism markets, along with a raft of practical hints, tips and ideas to help them make the most of the year-round opportunities for their business.
Ideas include giving visitors information on transfer options to and from event venues, providing themed offers for those attending specialist events and festivals, offering a range of relaxation options for event participants during off times, and providing visitors with details about authentic Scottish eating options.
The Events, Festivals & Cultural Tourism in Scotland guide has been published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland, as part of its Opportunities for Growth series, aimed at helping businesses make the most of new and emerging opportunities in the sector.
Katrina Morrison, Tourism Strategic Priorities Manager at Scottish Enterprise said: “Now is the perfect time for tourism businesses to get involved with cultural events and experiences. ‘The Winning Years’, which are supported by a range of activity at national level, offer tourism operators a unique opportunity to grow their business and to collaborate to develop exciting new products and services. By working more closely with event organisers and cultural providers they can offer a memorable experience for visitors, and ultimately improve their bottom line.”
Audrey MacLennan, Senior Tourism Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: “Events, festivals and cultural tourism are a thriving part of the Highlands and Islands and are bringing real economic benefits to the communities involved. Businesses working together to create a number of complementary events and experiences can offer even more to the visitor and can tempt them to stay longer, return year after year and can boost out of season bookings. We hope that the success stories showcasing activity across Scotland featured in the guide offer advice to others looking for ideas and inspiration.”
David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Special Events at Creative Scotland highlighted developments during the Year of Creative Scotland commented: “Through the Year of Creative Scotland a range of new sustainable partnerships have been developed across the country, from imaginative eco-friendly projects like the ‘RockNess Express’, and high profile collaborations including the Enchanted Forest working with visual artists Dalziell & Scullion, to the enhancement of existing tourist routes such as ‘Arts and Crafts in the Clyde Valley’; and visitor-friendly packages by events and festivals including the Lammermuir Festival, and Perthshire Amber. It’s this type of joint working that will ensure Scotland builds on its reputation as a cultural destination for national and international visitors alike.”
VisitScotland chairman, Mike Cantlay, said: “Scotland is preparing for the best opportunity for tourism in decades - with two world-famous events and a call for everyone to come home in 2014. No matter where businesses are in Scotland, there will be things happening near them all year round. And whether they are world-class ventures or local events, a significant proportion of the visitor spend ends up in the pockets of tourism businesses.
“All of these events and festivals present an opportunity to raise the profile of Scotland and extend our world famous welcome. It’s up to tourism businesses to make the most of what’s on locally and work together to use this to encourage more visitors to the area and give them good reason to stay longer and to come back for more. This guide will show tourism operators how to do just that and grow their business at the same time. As Scotland gets ready to welcome the world, this is not a time for modesty - it’s time to show the world what we are made of!”
Tourism Intelligence Scotland is a joint venture developed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland, in partnership with the tourism industry, to stimulate growth and innovation in tourism. The development of this guide was also supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland.
Other guides in the Opportunities for Growth series include: Scottish Tourism in the Future; Walking Tourism; Listening to our Visitors; Golf Tourism; Adventure Travel; Food Experience in Scotland; Mountain Biking Tourism; Sailing Tourism; Knowing our Markets....Scotland’s Visitors 2012; and Wildlife Tourism in Scotland.
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Its role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. It supports ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. It also works with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.