Denise Chen - May 8, 2007

Due to the strength of the pound and the high level of international competition, it has been concluded that that the original targets set for the future of Scottish inbound tourism have been a little too optimistic. Originally, the aim was for a 50% growth in inbound tourism by 2015. This now seems unlikely and it is believed that without further government funding this goal is not going to be reached. Although worldwide revenue through tourism is very much on the up, the UK market in general is flat. The current Scottish tourism industry costs around L27 million to run, although this is considered to be too little. The main reason behind this thinking lies in the fact that a mere 14% of all tourists visiting Scotland every year come from outside the UK. Basically, more action needs to be taken and more funds devoted to the international marketing front.


There are, however, some positive signs. Firstly, there were a record 23 Russian operators recorded as working in Scotland. The Russian market is considered to be very important due to its sheer size and also to the potential to attract the free-spending Russian elite. Robert Burns is thought to be a reason why many Russians visit Scotland. His poetry is highly regarded there.


Similarly, the Swedish market needs to be addressed with more cash as the Swedes are known to be the biggest contributors to golf tourism in Scotland. They spend a vast amount each year on playing golf on Scottish courses. For German tourists, money needs to be invested in the outdoor activities scene which is attractive to them, and the giant Chinese market will also have to be considered. Such schemes are naturally far from inexpensive yet absolutely necessary if the 2015 target is to be reached.


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