Tourism in Scotland - helping diverse tourism businesses all over Scotland

Scotland’s assets include its people, places, nature, culture and heritage. Our country has a reputation as a friendly and safe destination for leisure and business tourism. Tourist products are designed for domestic and international visitors so they have many fantastic options for places to stay, things to see and do.

Looking forward, Scotland’s tourism stakeholders intend to grow tourism volume and spend. Their ambitions are set out in the strategy: Tourism Scotland 2020. Together, they work to make our country a destination of first choice for high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people. Led by the Scottish Tourism Alliance The Big Five Questions provides tourism businesses with the most relevant advice and help from partners including Interface.

In 2016 Interface gained investment to concentrate additional support on key growth sectors, including the Scottish tourism industry. Before this, Interface had already boosted innovation in over 50 tourism businesses through matchmaking them with academic expertise. These have included accommodation providers, visitor attractions and tour companies. We linked up businesses to world leading academics who developed apps, solved accessibility issues, and created marketing plans and strategies to name a few.

Like many sectors Interface supports, the tourism sector in Scotland is made up of many small enterprises with limited resources. Only a third of new tourism businesses survive over 5 years. We realise that tourism businesses across Scotland face common and distinctive challenges. At Interface we support innovations and improvements in tourism businesses to:

  • Grow customer bases
  • Save money on outlays
  • Create a unique offer
  • Boost visitor spend
  • Help future trajectory in a challenging environment

All of these areas and many more can be supported by Scotland’s universities and research institutions. Interface broker academic collaborations to help tourism businesses understand more about customers, be smarter online, reduce costs and grow bottom line, develop teams and expand, and grow tourism in their area. Here are some ideas of where academic expertise in research and development can be applied to collaborative projects:

  • Adding to your understanding of behaviour, motivations and attitudes of your target domestic and international markets
  • Developing products for retail
  • Contributing to projects extending the seasonality of a destination
  • Acting where energy efficiencies and cost savings can be made
  • Developing smart devices to help design visitor flows and ease congestion
  • Designing engaging and inclusive solutions for visitor access
  • Utilising digital technology to help visitors find information and plan their trips
  • Bringing computer technologies like virtual or augmented reality to enhance interpretation
  • Creating marketing material for modern means of communication

Whether you are an individual business or a group of businesses with a common location, market, interest or challenge, we can help. Our free matchmaking service can identify potential academic partners. We can also identify funding opportunities to off-set the cost of your initial collaboration.