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Careers About
Services Projects 27 Insights 36 Podcasts 16 Careers About
Glasgow 2030 Tourism Strategy
Strategy & Consulting
Client
Glasgow Life
Tags
Glasgow
Scotland
Tourism Recovery
Tourism Strategy
Destination Marketing
Placemaking
Destination Management
Sustainable Tourism
Sustainability
The environment in which the tourism industry operates has changed dramatically over the past two years. This required a strategic plan which reflects these changes. The Glasgow Tourism Partnership that provides strategic direction for Glasgow’s tourism development was keen to refresh the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to reflect an enhanced focus on sustainability, accessibility, and tourism’s key role in contributing to the city’s economic recovery. The current Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 was originally prepared in 2016. Since its original creation, the plan has benefited from a mid-term review and updated action plan, also prepared by TOPOSOPHY in 2020.
The Brief

In this context, Glasgow Life, on behalf of the Glasgow Tourism Partnership, has appointed TOPOSOPHY to carry out a refresh of the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to reflect the city’s ambition as a sustainable, inclusive and accessible destination. There was a desire to move away from a volume approach and focus on economic and value impact rather than visitor numbers as a measure of success. The new strategy must align with the city’s commitments around net zero and economic growth, and recognises the city’s importance as a global events destination.

The strategy development process required extensive stakeholder engagement as well as working closely with Glasgow Life and its key partners VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise Greater Glasgow Hotels Association and Glasgow’s Leading Attractions, with support from Glasgow Airport.  

Objective 01

Refresh the current strategy to reflect an enhanced focus on sustainable, accessible and inclusive tourism.

Objective 02

Identify key Glasgow’s assets and their relevance to residents and visitors after the pandemic.

Objective 03

Ensure that the new strategy aligns with Scotland’s and Glasgow’s tourism, climate and economic development goals.

Objective 04

Engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, in particular the city’s residents and tourism businesses.

Objective 05

Provide governance recommendations

Approach

The mid-term review of the strategy produced by TOPOSOPHY in early 2020 reinforced the strength of the city’s distinct cultural assets – Music, Heritage, Mackintosh and Contemporary Art while adding the growing importance of sustainability and food and drink. The review also flagged the need to strengthen the ‘Team Glasgow’ approach, with a need for increased industry participation as well as placing greater emphasis on sustainability. 

Our work with Glasgow Life on developing the refreshed Glasgow Tourism and Visitor Plan gave us a thorough appreciation of Glasgow’s biggest tourism assets, and what could be done to leverage these more effectively in the future. We understood that the refresh to support Glasgow in becoming a sustainable, inclusive, and accessible destination will build upon the significant amount of work that has already been done in this area in recent years. In carrying out this project, our approach was therefore be guided by the following:

  • We would build upon the significant volume of planning and stakeholder coordination to date in Glasgow. 
  • We would support stakeholders in adopting a forward-thinking approach that will draw on global best practice (particularly around sustainability and COVID-19 recovery) 
  • We would prioritise the industry and citizen engagement in our consultations, challenging them in constructive ways to ensure their voices are properly reflected in the final output 
  • We would focus on how we can maximise value per visitor and put forward concrete actions to ensure Glasgow fulfils its sustainability, accessibility, community wellbeing and climate commitments.

TOPOSOPHY's approach was based on thorough research, benchmarks from leading global cities, and extensive consultations with Glasgow’s residents and the industry to ensure their voices are properly reflected in the final output. 

Key element 01

Destination analysis to understand and illustrate the current policy and strategic context, and ensure the new strategy alignment with them.

Key element 02

Market context and consumer trends analysis to understand factors shaping visitor demand.

Key element 03

Resident, youth and industry consultations to establish the strategy vision, mission, and key strategic priorities. 

Key element 04

Strategy validation workshops with the Glasgow Tourism Partnership.

Key element 05

Benchmarking analysis of governance models of cities in a similar context.

Key element 06

Strategy development process with actions to improve sustainability and accessibility of tourism in Glasgow. 

Results

The project is still ongoing. The new strategy is planned to be launched in Autumn 2023. 

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