Despite the signs not looking good and visitor figures being down, Scotland aims to increase its revenue from tourism by 50% by 2015.
The first half of 2011 has made for miserable reading for the Scottish tourism board. Indeed, the whole industry is 17% down on the previous year despite a 5% general rise in the UK as a whole.
These depressing figures and comparisons have led to an ultimatum by the head of national tourism. Scotland has 3 years to change the face of its tourism sector before it ends up lagging behind even further. On a positive note, £30 million is set to be invested into tourism in Scotland and statements have been made that a 50% increase is expected by 2015.
VisitScotland has admitted that this is a massive challenge, which needs a huge amount of skill and funds to be achieved. It has been pointed out that improvements in the Scottish tourism sector would be a benefit to everybody, not only those working in hotels and restaurants.
Top officials in tourism view upcoming sports events as crucial to the immediate future of Scottish tourism. Scotland hopes to lure some tourists at least for a small visit to Scotland during the London Olympics whilst the Glasgow Commonwealth Games should serve as bait for an influx of new tourists as should the Ryder Cup in 2014.
Meanwhile, away from sport, further events such as the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 and the making of the Disney film “Honeypot” should bring needed publicity and revenue to help fulfill the 2015 dream.