Our comprehensive report The Collaborative Economy and Scottish Tourism has already been used by the Scottish Government to plan the way ahead in embracing the collaborative economy while ensuring a level playing field for the Scottish tourism sector.  

In August last year we announced the start of an exciting new project that would map the state of the collaborative economy in Scotland, and give a guide to Scotland’s government on how to navigate the complex route towards legislating on such a fast-moving economic system. When complete, the report would place Scotland ahead of many contemporaries that have so far ‘muddled through’ when it comes to dealing with the collaborative economy, or see it as simply a cluster of problems to be dealt with. 

Fortunately, Scottish Enterprise, together with their partners in the Scottish Tourism Alliance -guardians of the Scottish national tourism strategy- as well as the Scottish Government launched this project with an open mind, seeking, first and foremost to help Scotland’s many tourism businesses to understand what is happening. They also sought to explain how businesses could adapt their business to connect with younger, more independent travellers who are visiting Scotland and eager to use collaborative economy platforms to find new products and experiences, and meet local people. 

Of course the collaborative economy has brought challenges to Scotland, as it has in many other places. In the report we give a full guide to the areas of regulation that need to be addressed, and present various examples of how this has been managed in destinations around the world. 

“This has been an important project for us, and we’re really impressed with the result, especially the way Toposophy have encouraged readers to think about the breadth of collaborative economy opportunities and how existing and new businesses can become involved. said Aileen Lamb, Manager for Tourism at Scottish Enterprise. “Over the next year we look forward to working with industry to broaden their digital capabilities and drive for change in order to take advantage of the platforms which are right for them. We will encourage innovation across public sector partners and destination organisations to look at new ways to grow Scotland’s tourism sector through the collaborative economy.” 

At Toposophy we’ve been tracking the growth of the collaborative economy and its impact on the global tourism industry for several years, and attitudes can vary from place to place. “One thing that struck us was the open-minded attitude among the Scottish tourism sector, as well as a desire to learn more about it”, said Peter Jordan, Toposophy’s Head of Insights. “Logically, there is some concern over the impact of short term rentals in the big cities, but on the whole, business owners in Scotland are keen to learn more, and bring their skills up to speed in order to compete in the marketplace and satisfy customer demand”, he said.  

In late December, a copy of the report was forwarded to the Scottish Government as part of its general consultation on the collaborative economy, and insights were used in the findings of the Expert Panel on the Collaborative Economy which took evidence from experts during 2017. 

However the February 1st marked the first occasion when the results were reported in public, to more than 200 delegates at the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group 2018 Conference, and we were delighted to share them in a keynote presentation. 

Both the full report and executive summary are now available to download here. The Toposophy-led webinar to present the report is here

In recent years Toposophy has studied the collaborative economy intensely, and has helped audiences around the world to understand how it’s evolving, and how governments and businesses can take practical steps to adapt their approach. If you’d like to know more about this report and how we could help you, just drop us a line:  





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