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Soon every country in the world will be chasing tourists. Let's make Scotland the front runner

Scottish tourism in the future

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It is predicted that by 2020, 99.6 per cent of the countries of the world will have a tourism proposition which means that competition is fierce and we can???t afford to be complacent

Tourism in the future

People want to have authentic experiences. Being green and sustainable in your business pays. Visitors are becoming more sophisticated – they want excellent value for money at luxury end and budget. Understand the value Technology can add to the customer experience.

This guide is primarily based on recent research that was commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, to help to better inform Scottish tourism businesses about the future and where opportunities may lie. 

The Future Foundation, a consultancy well renowned for helping businesses to understand their customers better, teamed up with VisitScotland’s scenario planners to develop a view of the future based on likely trends. Scottish Enterprise joined forces with the Henley Centre, which is an international strategic futures and marketing consultancy. Their approach looks at a future based on the facts that we know at the moment.


In the UK 40 per cent of consumers would rather spend money on experiences than on buying goods

Tourism in the future

People increasingly want to make the most of their time by turning the individual things they can do on holiday into the 'whole experience'

This may be mixing outdoor activities with culture and opportunities for self improvement, together with shopping in the city and a fabulous meal out.

So as an area will be collectively delivering the whole experience to visitors, it is essential that the links and collaboration between tourism providers are coordinated enabling them to cross sell other offerings within the area.

Tourism in the future

An ageing population has resulted in an increased demand for healthier foods and a growing interest in Eastern medicines and health related activities such as yoga, meditation, and herbal remedies

Consumers will now travel abroad to combine health and beauty surgical procedures with a holiday. The growth in farmers markets reflect the demand to get closer to food production and enjoy a sense of local community.

Tourism in the future

Scotland with its rich heritage is well placed to capture authenticity

Through the experience of its products such as whisky, golf, cashmere, fishing, country sports, and cultural festivals, people feel that they can get a taste of the 'real Scotland'.

Although we have a strong core tourism product that will be able to meet the demands of the future tourist, we have to recognise that constant change is necessary and to see this as an opportunity and not a threat. 

Even more than what we offer, how we offer it will be key to survive. We must be seen as a modern vibrant innovative destination. This guide will help give you the best likely view of where things are going in the future and what you can do now to maximise the opportunities.

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