Delivering for Scotland How we’re working to grow the visitor economy Foreword We’re working for Scotland Jim Mather MSP, Take a snapshot of VisitScotland’s impact right now. Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Somewhere, a B&B owner is posting a new star-grading plaque; a waiter pours a malt for a US travel writer; a “Scotland is a nation with a wealth of assets. Our people, heritage and hotel fills with a single conference booking; and in dozens of Information Centres, another visitor finds that they’d culture hold enormous value for us around the world, and we can be like to stay a bit longer. proud of the ‘Team Scotland’ effort achieved in aligning those assets for the Homecoming year. This and much more is happening because every one of VisitScotland’s 900 staff across Our areas The importance of the visitor economy to our future is recognised in 1 Delivering the country knows that they work for Scotland. the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy, Economic Recovery Plan, for Scotland The roles are diverse, but they share one the work of the enterprise agencies and through public sector support common goal: all of our work is designed We’re working to increase the contribution of tourism to for our museums, attractions and visitor facilities. for Scotland the economy. VisitScotland will deliver the visitors by building on the success of www.visitscotland.org Homecoming Scotland 2009 and working towards a landmark year VisitScotland’s strategy is built to fit with that of the Scottish Government: increasing in 2014 with the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games. sustainable economic growth. In practical Welcome to this insight into the work of VisitScotland: maximising terms, this means attracting more visitors, particularly during seasonal low periods, our assets to sell Scotland to the world.” and encouraging them to stay longer and spend more. Philip Riddle OBE, We make this happen through close working Chief Executive, VisitScotland relationships with the industry and other partners in three core activities: marketing, providing information and inspiration to “Scotland’s visitor economy has shown its mettle over the last year, under visitors and promoting quality. Highlands and Islands testing conditions. Tourism directly supports 200,000 jobs in every corner Grampian Tayside of the country and its success is critical to Scotland’s future. Ours is a national organisation that needs to West Central Scotland deliver locally. Spreading our teams in offices East Central Scotland Few sectors have weathered the recession quite as well and shown such around Scotland and in a hundred VisitScotland South of Scotland vigorous growth potential. Through this resilience, we have proved we’ve Information Centres means that we can stay got the strategy right, but we’ve also shown the dexterity for change. close to our customers. We have taken VisitScotland.com in-house and are now working with the industry to make it a world leader. A major evolution in our Quality Assurance schemes is also underway, with the same principle at its heart: listening to the needs of our businesses. Our strategic priorities that deliver for Scotland At every stage of the customer journey, we are delivering for Scotland.” 1 Marketing Maximising the brand and selling Scotland to the world Sustainable 2 Information and inspiration economic Inspiring visitors to do more, stay longer and spend more in Scotland growth for Scotland 3 Quality The drive for excellence to make Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination Working together to grow the visitor economy We sell Scotland to the world, bringing millions of visitors and billions of pounds to the country. Advancing on our successes means everyone joining the effort. VisitScotland’s ability to leverage and stimulate partnerships at every level, from international carriers £1 million VisitScotland Growth Fund for group marketing initiatives to local group marketing projects, is fundamental to our work in growing Scotland’s visitor economy. “VisitScotland’s market expertise 2 has played a vital role in our Delivering strategy development, and £4 billion for Scotland our joint campaign on Perfect Working together Day 2009 exceeded all our to grow the visitor expectations too. It feels like economy we’re part of the team.” www.visitscotland.org The visitor economy is worth over £4 billion to Scotland; Martin Reynolds Head of Marketing, Festivals Edinburgh with £2.8 billion from the UK and £1.2 billion from overseas 200,000 jobs 9% of Scotland’s workforce “The Highland Spring and VisitScotland 11,000 businesses working with VisitScotland brands confer excellence upon each other in a way which is salient and motivating to consumers. Together, we have genuinely established a means of creating more than the sum of the parts.” “VisitScotland’s US marketing Sally Stanley programme for Homecoming Marketing Director, Highland Spring Ltd. was impressive. It was a key factor in ensuring Continental’s year-round, non-stop service to Scotland remained one of our better performing international routes.” Vic Kerckhoff 97% satisfaction In the latest Visitor Experience survey, 97% of interviewees Director National Sales, Continental Airlines said they would recommend a holiday in Scotland to others How the customer journey delivers for Scotland Desire for Scotland starts with us. We provide the ideas for the perfect trip, the means to book it and the support Book to the industry that will make it unforgettable – by which Our quality schemes give visitors point, we’re already kindling that desire again. Here’s how confidence in booking their accommodation VisitScotland delivers economic benefit at every stage of using VisitScotland.com. They can book the customer journey. various other elements of their trip through VisitScotland’s marketing partnerships with the major carriers and sites like Ticketmaster. 4 Look Overseas, we operate an education programme called SCOTS – Specialist Delivering First-time visitors will start the journey by Counsellor on Travel to Scotland – which for Scotland coming into contact with VisitScotland’s turns travel agents around the world, £4bn marketing material. This might be seeing How the customer from the USA to China, into passionate a TV or cinema advert, posters emblazoned journey delivers salespeople for Scotland. across London tube stations, an on-pack for Scotland promotion in the supermarket, or an overseas www.visitscotland.org visitor reading a colourful feature we have Travel secured in a glossy magazine. They will then find information and inspiration in our Economic benefit VisitScotland’s marketing teams maintain close partnerships with major carriers in print and at VisitScotland.com. to Scotland order that getting to Scotland is as easy as possible. As part of that effort, we bring the world travel industry to Scotland at our annual travel fair VisitScotland Expo, when up to 1,000 international decision-makers come to deal with Scottish suppliers. Stay In 100 Information Centres and through outreach activity across Scotland, we provide information and inspiration to visitors in order that they see and do more, at once enriching their experience while increasing their spend. Meanwhile, our Keep in touch quality schemes drive up standards at each visitor ‘touch point’, including hotels, This stage in our marketing strategy attractions, restaurants and tours. nurtures loyalty into repeat visits through a programme of postal mailers and e-newsletters with tailored holiday ideas, based on detailed UK & Ireland consumer profiling. Overseas, close to a million e-newsletters are issued monthly in nine languages, with market-specific information and travel offers. All of these drive traffic online, where we offer more information and inspiration. Marketing: size matters Campaign: We’re on Coca Cola bottles, Sony Pictures promotions and Famous Grouse labels. We’ve worked with Sean Connery, Winter White Mike Myers and Sam Torrance. VisitScotland is a world player because we invest £45 million in marketing Delivered: Scotland at home and overseas, buying us millions more in support from A-list partners. It’s the company we keep £64m 7 Delivering and an increasingly intelligent strategy that allows us to deliver the most for Scotland. Brains matter too, and so our starting point These values are the bedrock of our for Scotland . is always research* It tells us what we need marketing message, and you’ll see them to know about the markets that will deliver come through strongly in all of our campaign Marketing: biggest return on our investment, who our material, from the promotion of Rock Ness The lead campaign in size matters customers are and what will attract them to to the Home of Golf. the UK & Ireland during www.visitscotland.org visit – and come back again. the traditionally quiet The brand is robust and powerful, but Annual investment of £1 million in consumer, with the flexibility to support the broad months from November industry and market intelligence informs variety of experiences available in Scotland. 2008 to March 2009 a strategy that is uncommon in its level of It provides the thousands of businesses delivered an additional sophistication. The quality of the strategy and other partners across the country * visitscotland.org is a major factor in leveraging £9 million with one direction for marketing Scotland £64 million to the provides a huge from partners for campaigns, £6 million together, and it allows us to differentiate Scottish economy. resource of from local authorities for area promotion our message to speak to all of our markets VisitScotland and partner research. and £1 million from airlines. and sectors: in the UK & Ireland, overseas and in business tourism. Detailed reports Research has distilled our brand to three cover national and values people associate with Scotland: regional statistics, enduring, dramatic and human. sector-speciﬁc reports, economic forecasting and tourism trends. And I think about you all the time… VisitScotland’s TV and cinema ad campaigns are the most visible face of our marketing activity, and thanks to the YouTube generation, have a long life and avid fans around the world. Tens of millions have been moved by the starry Homecoming ad, including 12 million in the UK. The seasonal ‘senses’ ads are also favourites for their memorable theme music and ability to convey the ‘feeling’ of visiting Scotland. They also work. The numbers of ABC1 adults reached by our five TV campaigns in the UK during 2009 – Events & Festivals, Celebrate Scotland, Perfect Day, Autumn and Winter – combines to total 66 million. In the case of the summer Perfect Day ad, 13 million ABC1 adults saw the ad more than once. Marketing continued Live it: marketing to Each of these campaigns penetrates the Who are we targeting? the UK & Ireland culture of our target customers. They see Research has given us a detailed understanding of 13 customer groups across the cinema and TV ads during their favourite UK and Ireland. In order to deliver the greatest possible return on our investment, Our domestic marketing takes one of shows, travel features in the papers and we focus our campaigns on the six ‘warmest’ groups – those already well disposed the most sophisticated approaches you’ll magazines they read, offers and competitions to coming here. These are the big six. find anywhere. on the websites they use and on-pack promotions on the products they buy from Accounting for 83% of visitors, the UK is by the supermarket. far our biggest market. When you consider Affluent active Well-travelled, mature experience seekers from Scotland and Northern England, the 8 devotees highest spenders of all because they can afford the finer things in life – quality hotels, that half of the people south of the border Technology allows us to constantly Delivering have never been to Scotland at all, then stimulate and surprise them with fresh great food and drink – and they actively participate in activities, including golf. They are for Scotland the scale of the potential becomes clear. ideas. The e-mail they receive from us is Scotland aficionados, and they can visit at relatively short notice or plan a longer Proximity, access and cultural affinity brings tailored to each separate customer group, holiday, often mixing new experiences with beloved haunts. Marketing: UK and Ireland the Republic of Ireland within the domestic which keeps our messages relevant and strategy too. nurtures their loyalty. www.visitscotland.org Affluent southern High-achievers from London and the south, average age 49, who take several longer The size of the market* on our doorstep We are deepening this intelligence all the explorers breaks, when they can engage with people and culture, getting outdoors and off the means that it is the most carefully time. Research in Ireland last year has given beaten track. They already have Scottish connections through experience, friends or researched. We profiled over 15,000 us new understanding of our target groups family, and they come back because it fulfils both emotional and practical needs. consumers to develop a hit list of the there. In 2010, we are refreshing the UK customer groups that offer us the biggest research to find out how the behaviour of * UK & Ireland spend return on our investment. This in-depth our customer groups may have adjusted is worth £2.9 billion, during the recession. Mature devotees Older couples from Scotland and Northern England of relatively low affluence, who understanding of their lifestyles, interests 69% of the total visitor economy. and how they make their decisions allows are committed to holidaying in Scotland – they spend more nights here than any other us to design intelligent marketing campaigns Domestic campaigns carry the brand group. Traditional in outlook, they live happily without the internet. They will often tour This breaks down that speak to those groups, offering the message Live it. Visit Scotland. with a caravan or arrange accommodation direct in a place they love. as £1.7 billion kinds of experiences they are looking for from England, on a Scotland holiday. £927 million from Scotland, £127 million from Three main seasonal campaigns lead Younger domestic Couples or young families from Northern England, aged 25-45, strong advocates Northern Ireland, the charge: explorers of UK holidays, but with limited disposable incomes. They like to tour, watch wildlife £76 million > Perfect Day covers the main season and have cultural experiences, such as visiting museums. They will return to Scotland from Wales and from late March to August because it allows them to be active and it is close by while still affording new experiences. £76 million from > Capture an Autumn Moment builds the Republic the shoulder months of September of Ireland. and October > Winter White grows the traditionally Busy Successful professionals with a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. They keep the same low season from November to March. city-dwellers pace on holiday, mixing outdoor pursuits with lapping up city culture. Scotland is high (Ireland) on their list, as there’s lots to do and explore, great events and they can catch up with friends or family. Well-travelled Older, successful couples and singles, living in the suburbs and happy to spend on empty nesters life’s little luxuries. They’ve bagged destinations overseas, but also have their haunts (Ireland) in the UK. Scotland is a familiar and convenient break for some, while those yet to visit are attracted by the wealth of activities and culture. Campaign: Perfect Day Delivered: £24m The lead campaign in the UK & Ireland during the main season from April to August 2009 delivered an additional £24 million to the Scottish economy. Marketing continued Welcome to our life: Each month, e-newsletters are issued in international marketing nine languages to almost a million Scotland It’s the real thing: aficionados worldwide who have ‘opted in’ the Homecoming legacy International visitors account for 17% of our to receiving holiday ideas from us. annual total, but they are big spenders: more A quick visit to YouTube will reveal six-figure than 30% of our £4 billion tourism revenue We work closely with carriers to keep views for the Homecoming Scotland 2009 ‘Caledonia’ advert. Still more revealing are many comes from overseas. improving access and drive up volume, and of the comments posted from around the world we support the global travel trade* so that by Scots, Scotland aficionados and those who The brand legend Scotland – Welcome the business of selling Scotland is as easy just want to visit Scotland: proud, passionate 12 to our life plays on the authenticity of the for them as possible. Our SCOTS education and emotional. Delivering Scottish cultural experience and the welcome programme for travel agents has 4,500 for Scotland As a means of raising Scotland’s profile that comes with it. World-famous icons such enrolled in North America alone. and giving the country a distinctive voice and Marketing: as whisky, golf, Mackintosh and dramatic unique proposition in a crowded marketplace, international Highland landscapes are writ large. The SCOTS programme is also helping to Homecoming was unprecedented. The ability grow emerging markets such as China, of the campaign to stir the pride and confidence www.visitscotland.org As Homecoming Scotland 2009 has clearly Japan, India and the Middle East. This is of the world’s Scots has laid important groundwork demonstrated, following in the footsteps of supported by our close partnership with that will bring dividends through VisitScotland’s Scottish ancestors is a strong pull in North VisitBritain in those territories, and product international marketing well beyond the year itself. America, and so promotion of ancestral development trade missions, where Scottish Homecoming stimulated buy-in from partners tourism is a major part of our strategy there. businesses meet the markets’ travel trade. that we can now build into valuable relationships. In Europe, activity stresses the appeal of car A major coup was scored with a tie-in with Coca * bookingscotland.com touring, golf and short breaks that combine Cola, arguably the biggest brand in the world, is our website for the which produced a limited edition bottle for city and countryside. overseas travel trade. Homecoming – the kind of treatment normally reserved for global events like the Olympics It includes news Our European touring campaign runs all or the World Cup. and fresh holiday year round, combining a rich choice of ideas, itineraries, detailed touring itineraries on various Another early indicator of the impact of practical advice themes with a calendar that picks out the Homecoming is the success it sparked in on subjects lasting, positive engagement with Scotland’s seasonal highlights in every part of Scotland. from customs diaspora. Homecoming marketing generated to insurance, This campaign alone delivers £50 million in 150,000 new visitor prospects, smashing the plus dozens of economic benefit. 50,000 target. It also allowed us to research commissionable and draw together for the first time the most deals from comprehensive database of 2,400 Scots-interest Scottish suppliers. groups around the world. For the future of our international marketing and particularly our work on ancestral tourism, these still-growing databases will be a powerful asset for the country. Campaign: European touring campaign Delivered: £50m Latest ﬁgures for the annual campaign in Europe for Scotland car touring delivered an additional £50 million to the Scottish economy from the French and German markets alone. Marketing continued Only in Scotland: In a marketplace where decisions can be VisitScotland online The evolution of VisitScotland.com business tourism based to a great extent on the infrastructure, VisitScotland has responded to the Scotland stands out from the rest in terms VisitScotland.com is a formidable online increasingly blurred lines between VisitScotland raises the profile of Scotland of uniqueness and our traditions for hospitality presence, connecting five million users with information and marketing by taking as a destination for the business sector, and innovation, which are embedded in the 11,000 businesses. It is a shop window for the consumer website in-house. effectively creating the environment for unequivocal promise: Only in Scotland. Scotland, meeting the needs of a worldwide Scottish suppliers, including the city audience researching the extraordinary Now that VisitScotland.com is part of convention bureaux, to win business Business tourism – key facts diversity of experiences available. the national tourism organisation, we are that is vital to the economy. > In 2008, a total of 2.3 million business working with the industry across Scotland 16 trips were made to Scotland 17 All of our activity has an online home. on its evolution. The main outcomes will be Delivering The sector is worth £723 million, around > Business visitors spend on average Delivering Through TV and cinema advertising and closer alignment with marketing campaigns for Scotland 18% of Scotland’s tourism revenues. 60% more per night than leisure visitors for Scotland other promotional activity, each of the and the provision of a much richer source Compared with leisure tourism, it is less > The UK accounts for 77% of total major seasonal advertising campaigns of information than ever before. Marketing: Marketing: business tourism seasonal and spend is much higher, with expenditure VisitScotland online drives traffic online to niche sites – for big events spread around the country. > The USA is the largest international market, example, visitscotland.com/perfectday – This will drive still more traffic to www.visitscotland.org accounting for 17% of overseas business www.visitscotland.org each providing hundreds of inspirational VisitScotland.com, which in 2009, broke Our Business Tourism Unit works with tourism expenditure in the UK, followed ideas for holidays during the period. the 13 million mark for unique visits for the industry to make sure that venues and by 7% from Germany and 5% from France the first time. services are top of the agenda for those > Glasgow is ranked at no.33 in the world A series of international gateway sites and planning* business and association events for delegate numbers e-brochures in a dozen languages addresses Starting in 2010, the increasing visitor in the UK and internationally. the needs of global markets, and we have appetite for multi-media, user-generated * convention * visitscotland. specialist sites that provide a vital element in content and interactive mapping will mean scotland.com com/rugby We also stimulate business from overseas the marketing mix for golf, adventure sports, that the site develops to meet their needs. is our online is typical of how resource for the through our work with Scottish Development niche sites support fishing, rugby,* cycling and many more. business tourism International and GlobalScots, a network of marketing activity. Taking the site in-house also makes us sector. over 900 influential business leaders with more fleet of foot. In an ever-changing unrivalled access around the world. As well as online environment, the capability now The site provides information on to undertake new kinds of work presents information on the teams, ﬁxtures, an exciting future for the ability of our While the business sector has certainly venues, Scottish news and events, suppliers and been affected by the recession, Scotland the site promotes marketing to bring visitors to Scotland. support services, has shown a healthy performance. In 2008, longer stays by plus our biannual Scotland actually increased its market share providing player Scotland Means of international association meetings in the video guides and Business workshop, UK from 25% to 29%, and Edinburgh and itineraries, both which takes for fans and their Glasgow remain second only to London, both meeting planners travelling partners. to and around improving their rankings in the cities table. the country. Information and inspiration: we’re coming to get you Campaign: The business of selling Scotland doesn’t stop when the visitor arrives. It enters a whole new phase, where the Relationship marketing scale of the opportunity for Scotland’s economy is almost immeasurable. Inspiring visitors to do more, stay longer Delivered: and spend more means enriching their experience at every turn – so we’re heading out to meet them. £25m 19 Delivering VisitScotland has effected a step change in the way information services are perceived and delivered: a shift from the idea that Information Centres are places for passive The Mountain Biking World Cup in Fort William, the MOBO Awards in Glasgow and the Open Golf at Turnberry are just a few of the 52 locations and 70 days of outreach for Scotland information collection to places of proactive activity undertaken throughout last year. Information and and dynamic inspiration. Latest ﬁgures for the inspiration: we’re Using a branded VisitScotland double-decker coming to get you ongoing relationship Working with businesses, partners, staff bus and the inflatable VisitScotland Dome, marketing programme www.visitscotland.org and visitors themselves, we researched the we have made ourselves an integral part needs of today’s increasingly independent of these environments, pulling visitors in, in the UK & Ireland visitors and the kind of services they would entertaining families with games and delivered an additional value. What we learned now informs the giveaways, while giving the adults ideas and £25 million to the changing environment of our Information special offers for other things they can see * Outreach Centres and a new outreach strategy that and do in the area and around Scotland. Scottish economy. in Wales takes us across Scotland to wherever In 2010, the the visitors are – wherever we can have By connecting visitors with businesses strategy will the greatest impact on the economy. in this way, outreach activity across the KEEP develop outside country* will deliver an additional £10 million Scotland for the ﬁrst time. Outreach for the Scottish economy. Major events and other high-footfall In addition to major locations, such as popular attractions and events in Scotland, shopping areas, present a previously untapped DISCOVERING the team will resource for the economy. Here we can undertake activity access thousands of residents and visitors in Wales, when it hosts the Ryder alike, who are not immediately inclined to Cup in October. seek out a local Information Centre. The outreach team MOBO-lises The 2009 MOBO Awards brought massive worldwide attention to Glasgow and a whole new audience on to the city streets, so VisitScotland took the Dome into George Square for two days. Dome DJs pulled the crowds, while the VisitScotland team engaged one-to-one, giving them souvenir eco-bags (pictured, right) and gathering consumer data through competition entries for gig tickets – 95% of the competition entrants opted in to receive our information on Scotland. Edinburgh Castle, The National Gallery of Scotland, The Scott Monum The giveaway bags included a series of special offers for local attractions, restaurants and bars, and directed interest towards the Capture an Autumn Moment campaign website, where visitors could greatly expand on their ideas for days out in Scotland. Information and inspiration continued Keeping the marketing promise As well as encouraging repeat visits by The shift towards proactively inspiring enhancing the experience, the Information Outreach in action: visitors blurs the lines between information Centre staff also feed back into the customer T is for tipping your hat and marketing. Both our outreach activity journey by gathering the consumer data that and the work of the network of Information is used to keep in touch with visitors once In partnership with Perth & Kinross Council, Centres therefore establish a clear link to our they have left. we took the VisitScotland Dome to T in the Park to introduce the thousands of revellers to some seasonal marketing campaigns, effectively of the other great experiences they could have fulfilling the promise. Delivering these services across Scotland during the summer. is a team effort. VisitScotland provides the 20 This means that a visitor who has come to strategic framework, the training, the expertise We used Bluetooth technology to send messages Delivering Scotland on the strength of, for example, to visitors’ mobile phones, telling them about the and the marketing, but it would not be possible for Scotland various attractions at the Dome and luring them a Winter White ad campaign or magazine without the partnerships with local authorities with competition prizes. Once there, they could article, will also see that Winter White and other organisations in each area. then try out an inflatable snowboard simulator Information and inspiration messaging when they step through the and watch plasma screen presentations on doors of an Information Centre. They’ll We are always exploring ways to pool Perthshire and a BAFTA Scotland film on free- www.visitscotland.org see it in campaign-specific displays, retail resources with other partners wherever we climbing Ben Nevis. promotions and in offers for local businesses. can achieve the greatest possible return on Our outreach team engaged with the crowds, investment while providing a better service gathering thousands of new contacts for the Five million human touches for visitors. This year, for example, a new database while distributing information on The most important marketing tool in the partnership with Calmac in Tobermory will Perthshire and summer events in Scotland. arsenal is the team of advisors. Over five mean that the town will have a year-round Branded straw cowboy hat giveaways then spread million visits a year are made to our network Information Centre for the first time, benefiting the message across the event, achieving wider of 100 VisitScotland Information Centres both visitors and local businesses. coverage on the BBC, The Drum and the NME. across the country. That’s five million opportunities to directly influence, face to face, the experience of our visitors. If only a fraction is inspired to stay longer, see more, attend an extra event or use one more local business, it still represents a giant impact on the local and national economies. First for rebranding: Fort William Vividly bringing the campaigns to life in Information Centres is one of the aims behind the long term programme of rebranding the network, begun at Easter 2009 with the opening of the new centre in Fort William. Fort William is the first to wear the new name branding ‘VisitScotland Information Centre’, which replaces the former ‘Tourist Information’ brand. The new name establishes a more cohesive link with pre-arrival marketing and the rest of the national tourism agency’s activity. It is also the first to realise the outcomes of the research process, reflected in new interior design, internet access, plasma screen displays, improved layout and zoning and increased opportunities for businesses to promote themselves to visitors. Quality: economic growth through excellence Campaign: Imagine: if just ten percent of our visitors were to spend the same as the average visitor to Switzerland, we would Celebrate Scotland see a payday of an extra £550 million for the Scottish economy. Unleashing that potential means championing Delivered: quality, and VisitScotland is working with the industry to ensure that our reputation delivers for Scotland. £19m 23 Delivering Visitors vote with their feet. Their choice of destinations today is enormous, and so the drive for quality is crucial if Scotland is to be a must-visit, must-return destination. Quality As well as the direct benefit to the visitor, this work levers £56 million in capital investment by the industry every year to improve the Scottish tourism product. for Scotland must be one of the values that set us apart. Quality: economic Our quality strategy has won the respect The campaign to launch growth through Our six Quality Assurance schemes and of visitors, the industry and our peers, and excellence Homecoming Scotland 20 Welcome schemes give visitors confidence has consistently led the way for quality 2009, focusing on Burns www.visitscotland.org in choosing their accommodation, restaurants, development at home and abroad. attractions and the broad variety of Night events, delivered experiences they have during their stay. an additional £19 million to the Scottish economy. A team of 39 quality advisors works with businesses to assess the visitor experience and offer consultancy and advice, tapping into VisitScotland research and passing on the latest thinking in travel trends. Fundamentally, their job is to connect businesses with visitors by making quality the link. World leader: quality by VisitScotland VisitScotland’s accommodation scheme model has now been adopted by the rest of the UK and by the AA as the industry standard. The Green Tourism Business Scheme, co-developed by VisitScotland, has also since gone UK-wide. Our schemes have a higher level of industry participation than in England and Wales, covering 70% of all Scottish tourism businesses and 90% of visitor attractions. Increasingly, trade associations, such as ‘Scotland’s Best B&Bs’, are making accreditation a condition of membership. Our team also sells quality consultancy to other national tourist boards. We have successfully exported the model to other countries, including South Africa and Namibia. Quality Measuring continued success Listening to businesses Beyond the stars VisitScotland invests in measuring the The results figures are conservative. Getting the schemes right and keeping VisitScotland’s work doesn’t stop at effectiveness of selected marketing The evaluation only includes short breaks them in step with changes in visitor grading establishments. We also co-ordinate campaigns. and holidays – not day trips – and it is based behaviour means that our dialogue is a the National Tourism Signposting strategy – on conversion studies; that is, analysing two-way street. As well as investing in brown road signs – and lend a strong voice The sheer scale of our diverse activity, behaviour of visitors who have received consumer research, we also pay close on quality issues, including gaining support however, means that the evaluation figures our marketing communications as well attention to feedback from the industry from partners to influence curriculum highlighted in this document represent only as visitors who have directly responded on the effectiveness of the schemes in development and promote tourism as part of VisitScotland’s impact. to VisitScotland promotions. wowing customers and growing their a career. 24 business. We invest in measuring our marketing in This means that it does not include the Delivering In Glasgow, we manage a partnership of order to make sure we get the best value considerable impact of awareness-raising for Scotland This feedback has been one of the public and private sector organisations for for money in the future. We measure each activity such as print, poster, TV or cinema driving forces behind developments in the Glasgow Tourism Service Initiative, a of our seasonal leisure campaigns in the advertising or activity with travel partners Quality the schemes. In the last year, for example, five-year project to raise standards of quality UK & Ireland, while overseas, mainly due such as Stena Line or easyJet. we have introduced an evolution on the at every touch point in the visitor experience to the cost involved, we instead measure www.visitscotland.org established star-grading system for serviced and increase tourism employment by an campaigns on a rotational basis. accommodation providers in the shape additional 9,000 jobs. of a new ‘Gold Star’ award. The methodology has been independently Since 1992, our Scottish Thistle Awards audited to make sure it is robust. It only In each star band, the Gold Star plaque have celebrated excellence in the industry measures the additional economic impact rewards the top one percent on the basis in categories including service, green of each campaign, taking care not to of exceptional service standards, and so tourism and innovation. Shortlisted entries include business that would have reached gives them a new way to distinguish their attract enormous media coverage around Scotland anyway. product from their peers and market their the country, and the winners benefit from a business more effectively. For other new confidence and morale for their staff as businesses, where previously they may well as a new distinction for their marketing. have been unable to progress to the next star grading for infrastructural reasons, it provides a fresh incentive to drive up standards. Future approach Close consultation with the industry has now begun in shaping the future of our approach to quality. The review process is a long term one, but we have set the clear objective of increasing industry participation in our quality schemes. There are currently 11,000 businesses working with VisitScotland on quality; addressing the remaining 30% of the industry has enormous potential for growth, as thousands more take active steps to invest in excellence. Ultimately, the review will ensure VisitScotland’s work on quality is an integral part of the wider policy framework, establishing a resolute link between investment and the growth of the visitor economy in Scotland. Designed and produced by Tayburn Our awards: and the winner is... Scotland European Excellence PR Awards 2009 Gold – Travel and Tourism Award for Homecoming Scotland 2009. Marketing Society Star Awards 2009 Brand Company of the Year Award and Promotional Excellence Award. Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP) Awards 2009 Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards for Winter White campaign. Direct Marketing Association Awards 2009 Silver Awards for VisitScotland’s Relationship Marketing Programme. Marketing Excellence Awards Best Brand 2008. Scottish Marketing Excellence Award for Marketing Achievement (Large Enterprise) – 2006. Aaron D. Cushman/Society of American Travel Writers Award for Excellence in Travel-related Public Relations – 2006. Chartered Institute of Public Relations Awards 2006 PR Team of the Year and Best Integrated Campaign for The Da Vinci Code. British Association of Communicators Business Award of Excellence – Best Use of Interactive Media – 2006. VisitScotland: Delivering for Scotland. Published 2010 VisitScotland This publication was printed on Revive Pure Ocean Point One White Offset. This stock is FSC accredited, 94 Ocean Drive to ensure sustainable forest management Edinburgh EH6 6JH in the UK and worldwide. T 0131 472 2222 VisitScotland is committed to ensuring that F 0131 472 2250 our natural environment, upon which our tourism is so dependant, is safeguarded www.visitscotland.org for future generations.