£30 million tourism spend to be probed by Economy Committee

25/06/2012

Glasgow 2014, London 2012, the Disney film Brave, Homecoming 2014, the Ryder Cup. All these major events are being used to promote tourism in Scotland, assisted by £30million of funding for VisitScotland. But what impact do these events have on the Scottish economy and is the extra investment making a difference? The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has launched a short inquiry to find out.

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“Tourism is a massive income generator for the Scottish economy but it has become evident that recent progress to increase tourism revenue by 50 per cent by 2015 has stalled.

“Over the next three years Scotland is to play host to major events, including Glasgow 2014, the Ryder Cup and Homecoming 2014.

“To promote Scotland and capitalise on these events, VisitScotland has received a significant cash injection of £30 million. This focused inquiry will scrutinise this budget and determine how it is being spent and ensure it is bringing tangible benefits to Scotland. It is also important we learn lessons from the Gathering debacle.” 
 
The inquiry will begin in September and will take oral evidence from key witnesses on the following themes:

  • The winning years strategy (launched by Visit Scotland to capitalise on the major events of 2012-2014) is backed by £30 million investment but how is it being implemented and are its aims achievable and measurable?
  • What are the economic benefits of major events in Scotland? Are rural areas losing out?
  • What is being done to promote Scotland as a tourist destination as a result of significant events to be hosted in Scotland?
  • The Disney film Brave used a joint marketing strategy for the first time but what is the cost and benefit to Scottish tourism?

Background

This inquiry follows on from a report the Committee published in February on Issues affecting Scottish tourism.

Amongst the issues discussed were the achievability of the 50 per cent growth target and VisitScotland’s “winning years strategy”. In this report the Committee indicated it would “like to see, however, more detail on what the strategy and objectives are and how VisitScotland hopes to measure the achievability of these aims”.