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Recognising your assets

To make the most of the opportunities available to us, we need to play to our strengths.

What do we do well and can we build on this? If we do this, we will deliver an enhanced visitor experience, which in turn will lead to improved bottom line profitability, more repeat business and more recommendations and referrals.

In practice, this means identifying the assets in our own businesses and the wider local area, and thinking creatively about how these could be used to offer better products and services and increased value for our visitors.

Loch Lomond

Play to your strengths

Firstly, think about what makes your business special.

Perhaps you generate fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor, have particular ‘green’ credentials, or offer high quality local food and drink. You might be renowned for your warm welcome and hospitality, speak a foreign language, have particularly skilled or passionate staff or provide special touches during your guests’ stay. Or perhaps it’s as simple as having great transport links. 

If you’re not sure what your greatest assets are, the best way of finding out is to ask your visitors.

Once you’ve identified your particular strengths, you can use these to market your business and make it really stand out. As well as strengthening your marketing proposition, you’ll be providing potential visitors with confidence that they’ll get a fantastic experience if they book with you.

Then, think about what makes your local area special. 

Perhaps you’re located in an area of outstanding natural beauty or in a National Park. Maybe you have great outdoor activity options, such as golf courses, walking paths or wildlife-watching. Perhaps your area is known for its local culture and traditions or a particular visitor attraction.

Consider how you could use these assets to make your visitors feel they will have a special and unique experience, and promote them in your marketing materials and on your website.

  • Quite simply, added value wins every time. Finding the cheapest price came lowest out of a list of ten considerations when UK visitors were booking a holiday.


Enhance the visitor experience

It???s not just about promoting your existing assets more effectively. Once you???ve identified your current strengths, think about what other products and services you could build around them to delight your visitors and provide them with added value.

This might be as simple as offering a free pick-up service from your local railway station; providing lots of information on things to see and do and how to get around; offering them an on-arrival welcome pack with Scottish produce; a list of ???what???s on??? during their stay or providing free internet access for visitors carrying out ancestral research.

Quite simply, added value wins every time. Finding the cheapest price came lowest out of a list of ten considerations when UK visitors were booking a holiday. According to research from ABTA, added value is more appealing than hefty discounts.

Collaborating with others is vital if you want to make sure your visitor experience is perfect. Visitors do not just use your business during their stay, they will use other facilities such as attractions, restaurants and footpaths.

Collaborate with others

Get to know the other businesses in your area and speak to them about how you could work together to help visitors get the most out of their trip. This could be by teaming up with a local attraction to offer your guests ‘free’ entry; creating a themed itinerary built around an activity, experience or theme; or arranging for your visitors to sample some famous produce from your area.

Perhaps, by joining forces, you could even offer your visitors something special or unique that others don’t normally experience, such as a ‘behind the scenes’ tour or the chance to watch a local chef at work.

Also provide plenty of recommendations for other quality Scottish products and services that visitors can sample during their stay. As well as satisfying your visitors, your own business profile will be boosted by being associated with other high quality offers.

  • Collaborating with others is vital if you want to make sure your visitor experience is perfect.

Tap Into New Markets

By speaking to other businesses in your area, you might also find that you are able to tap into unexplored markets, which in turn could open up a whole range of new business opportunities!

The Tourism Scotland 2020 strategy identifies a number of other product areas where Scotland has particular strengths, including: activities & adventure; cruising; golf; mountain biking; and sailing.

Is your area strong in any of these sectors? If so, have you considered how you could use them to attract new customers? Think about who you could team up with to develop high quality, great value, packages (remembering that there are related legal implications to be considered) and experiences around them.  Have you considered working with the travel trade for example?



If you decide to target new types of visitors, remember to think about any special equipment and services they might need to make their stay more enjoyable such as drying facilities for walkers, secure bike storage for cyclists, binoculars for wildlife-watchers etc.

By putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes, you’re much more likely to meet and exceed their expectations.

The TIS ‘Opportunities for Growth’ guides provide a host of hints and tips on catering for different types of visitors.