A STRATEGY to increase the value of tourism across the Tay Cities Region by over £100m in the next five years has been officially launched.
The Tay Cities Region Tourism Strategy 2019-2024, the first of its kind in the region, was officially backed by the leaders of the area’s key tourism partnerships at Discovery Point, Dundee.
Tourism industry committee members from Angus Tourism Cooperative, Dundee & Angus Visitor Accommodation Association (DAVAA), Dundee Tourism Action Group, Fife Tourism Partnership and Perthshire Tourism Partnership met with the four local authorities’ tourism officers, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise to discuss next steps.
Overnight visitors contributed £433million to the economies of Angus, Dundee, north-east Fife and Perth & Kinross and the sector is one of the region’s biggest employers, currently employing over 20,000 people. One of the key aims of the strategy is to grow the overnight visitor spend by 3% every year, to £550million in 2024.
The strategy, which was developed with the local tourism industry through a series of workshops, identifies three key strengths which the tourism industry can build on. These are food and drink, outdoor adventures and culture and creative experiences. Developing a regional approach to broader strategic issues for the sector, namely transport, skills and employability have also been identified as priorities.
The Tay Cities Region Tourism Strategy will also ensure tourism sector is able to capitalise on the significant additional investment coming into the region over the next decade through the Tay Cities Deal. This will include the Culture & Tourism Regional Investment Programme which will provide £37m of matched funding to support a series of transformational capital projects, subject to the approval of a business case programme.
The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross under the headings Inclusive Tay; Innovative Tay; International Tay; Connected Tay and An Empowered Tay.
Politicians, council chiefs and academics, as well as attraction and accommodation providers have welcomed the new regional tourism strategy.
Stuart Clark of Balmuirfield House B&B who was representing Angus Tourism Cooperative and DAVAA said: “The regional tourism strategy provides a great opportunity for the business community to collaborate with the local authorities and help take the strategy from theory into practice.
“With many of the ideas and comments gathered from the industry during the development phase being reflected in the priorities, it shows that the tourism industry plays an important part of the Tay Cities region economy. Working together we can deliver a vision of tourism that can benefit everyone.”
Joint Committee Chair, Councillor Murray Lyle, said: “This is the first time that there has been a tourism strategy for the Tay Cities area to support the existing local strategies.
“It demonstrates our regional collaboration in respect of economic development and reflects the spirit of the ambitions outlined in the Tay Cities Deal.
“A broad range of voices from across the tourism industry in the Tay Cities Region have helped shape the ambitions and priorities in this strategy.
“Collaboration and shared decision-making will define how we implement this strategy too.”
Scottish Enterprise Tourism team leader Paul McCafferty said: “Scottish Enterprise is pleased to be a partner in the creation of the recently launched Tay Cities Regional Tourism Strategy.
“The region has outstanding natural and built assets which the strategy will support to provide exciting and inspirational experiences for our visitors from the UK and globally.
“This focus on regional working and partnership with businesses and local communities signals a new and deeper understanding of the benefits that can be gained from tourism.”