Progress report on tourism
The Executive today published its Progress Report on the Tourism Framework for Action Document.
Tourism Minister Mike Watson said:
"Our vision is to make Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination where, by meeting and exceeding our visitors' expectations, tourism makes an even greater contribution to the economy of Scotland."
Published in March 2002, Tourism Framework for Action is a three year plan setting out what needs to be done by the public and private sectors to implement the New Strategy for Scottish Tourism, 2000.
Mike Watson said:
"I believe there is an appetite and momentum within the sector for the Scottish tourism industry to play a bigger role in driving forward our strategy and achieving growth.
"Of course 2003 is already proving to be a difficult year for tourism globally, but over the longer term, there is no reason why our vision for Scottish tourism cannot be achieved.
"There is no room for parochialism. Scotland is a small country, and just one of a large and growing number of international tourism destinations which are competing more and more aggressively for the increasing number of people who make up the international tourism market place.
"This progress report demonstrates that we have made a solid start, and sets out what needs to be done to build on that progress to make Scottish tourism a growing part of the economy."
Referring to the possible impact on tourism of the conflict in Iraq, Mike Watson added:
"VisitScotland has taken into account the lessons learned from foot and mouth and September 11 in pro-actively preparing contingency plans and is gathering information on the potential impact of international events on various overseas tourism markets. Work is also underway to collect predictive intelligence from tourism businesses in Scotland to help inform decisions.
"In addition VisitScotland has done a considerable amount of research to enable it to pinpoint the effect of post-war circumstances on tourism in Scotland, and has formed a Joint Action Group with the Scottish tourism industry to exchange this intelligence.
"But at the same time, VisitScotland is stressing that it is very much business as usual in Scottish tourism, that Scotland remains a safe destination, and that there is no need for potential visitors from the UK or abroad to be concerned about visiting this country."
The Tourism Framework for Action Steering and Implementation Groups were set up in 2002 and are made up of tourism representatives from the public and private sectors.
This 1 st progress report sets out what has been achieved and the challenges that still exist for Scottish tourism.
The report is available on the Scottish Executive website www.scotland.gov.uk and the industry website, www.scotexchange.net