Few phenomena have shaken up the global tourism sector like the collaborative economy (or as it has been known, the ‘sharing’ economy).

For providing accommodation, transport, tours, meals and activities, it’s putting individual newcomers on the same footing as multinational corporations which have been present in the industry for many years.
For destination authorities, be they DMOs, mayor’s offices or inward investment agencies, the key is to find how the destination’s economy can gain real benefits from taking an open-minded approach to the collaborative economy, while seeking to reduce any negative effects. That’s the smart approach that’s been taken in Scotland, with various public and private organisatios including Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Scottish Government, working in collaboration with TOPOSOPHY Ltd.
The Scottish Government has already taken steps in this direction by setting up an Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy. The Panel’s aim is to provide advice, expertise and experience for policy development on the collaborative economy, as well to make recommendations to Scottish Ministers on how Scotland can position itself to take advantage of the opportunities of the collaborative economy and overcome any regulatory, economic and social challenges.
With solid experience in both the fields of tourism and the development of the collaborative economy, Scottish Enterprise turned to TOPOSOPHY to consider these questions in wide-ranging study that will have a strong focus on Scotland’s tourism sector. The study, titled The Collaborative Economy and Scottish Tourism kicked off in July and involves collecting evidence from a wide range of stakeholders in Scotland, both inside and outside the tourism sector. With the aim of helping the Scottish tourism sector reap the benefits offered by global P2P platforms while looking to take smart decisions on regulation, the Scottish Government as a whole is taking a grown-up approach to a complex phenomenon.
Our team has already started work on a project that will draw on insights on the collaborative economy in a variety of ways to help Scottish Enterprise and their partners make informed decisions in the future. Our work will include:
  • Carrying out a detailed online survey among various stakeholder groups; Scottish tourism businesses, destination management organisations, industry groups, P2P platforms, tech companies, universities and local community groups
  • Making personal interviews with selected representatives from each group in order to understand their views in more depth
  • Making a comparative review of legislation surrounding collaborative economy activities in Scotland, the rest of the UK, the EU and the rest of the world. This will cover areas such as taxation, legal liability, zoning,  consumer protection, health & safety and quality control
  • Examining the latest trends and major players across a range of sectors; accommodation, tours, meals and activities, transportation and domestic services
  • Holding an interactive event with a range of Scottish tourism stakeholders to understand their views first hand, as well as initial reactions to the online survey 
A full report of all the findings will be issued this November, and stakeholders from across Scotland have already told us that they’re keen to see the results.
Across Europe, thousands of professionals responsible for tourism, city planning and economic development have realised that inaction on the sharing economy is not an option, and have turned to us for insights and guidance. So far, we’ve presented our sharing economy masterclass in 25 conferences in 15 cities, and have shared our high-quality, tailor-made content to more than 5,000 attendees. We’re pleased that Scottish Enterprise has taken the leap, and are proud to be working with this forward-looking government agency.

Would you like to know more?

Our European Cities Marketing policy paper ‘Taking the Leap on the Sharing Economy
See our recent sharing economy masterclass at ITB Berlin 2017
Discover our tailor-made keynotes and workshops
If you’d like to know more about the project and how TOPOSOPHY can help your destination to take a smart approach to the collaborative economy, just let us know at info@toposophy.com





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