Food and drink, adventure activities and creative and design experiences could all help grow tourism in the East of Scotland in the next five years, that’s what attendees at a leading industry conference heard yesterday (19 March).
Over 200 delegates attended the first ever Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference at Dundee Rep Theatre organised by the four local authorities of Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth & Kinross. The event was also supported by Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland and part of Scottish Tourism Month 2019 and aimed to look at the future of tourism over the next five years.
Delegates heard from a series of industry experts within each of the three key themes, before learning about exciting new tourism products. Seven local businesses also shared their experiences of attracting new markets and growing the region’s vital tourism sector.
Guest speakers included: Peter Jordan, Head of Insights at Toposophy, food tourism expert John Mulcahy from Ireland, Caroline Couret, Founder of the Creative Tourism Network and Carron Tobin, Development Manager for Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative.
It’s been six months since V&A Dundee opened its doors, the internationally acclaimed attraction has garnered global media interest and shone a spotlight on the wider Tay Country region. Last year also saw Carnoustie welcome the 147th Open while Perth & Kinross will also play host to the Solheim Cup in September - the most prestigious event in women’s golf.
The conference aimed to bring together those working within the Tay region, encouraging the industry to work together to realise a strategy which will help grow tourism in the coming years.
Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “The East of Scotland has many of the attributes that people come to Scotland for; rich history, stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. Whilst these are all an integral part of the tourism mix if we want to continue growing tourism within the Tay Cities region it is important we capitalise on our other strengths too, offering experiences unique to this area to help attract new visitors and welcome back returning ones.
“2018 was an incredibly exciting year for the Tay Country. It is important that, through events such as the Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference, the local tourism industry and partners continue to work together to make the most of the global interest in the region and use it to continue to grow in the coming years, not only for the benefit of the organisations and businesses involved but for the towns, villages and communities as well.”
Danny Cusick, Scottish Enterprise Senior Director Food & Drink, Tourism and Textiles, said: “This is a tremendously exciting time for tourism in the Tay City Region. Scottish Enterprise is working closely with our regional partners supporting existing and new businesses to innovate, create growth and tap into the increasing variety of travellers discovering the area.
This first Tay conference is an opportunity for businesses to think differently about what they do and who they could collaborate with in order to grow their bottom line.”
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
Scotland’s Themed Years
- Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
- 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
- The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
- A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
- Join the conversation using #YCW2020
- 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.