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.
Refresh the current strategy to reflect an enhanced focus on sustainable, accessible and inclusive tourism.
Identify key Glasgow’s assets and their relevance to residents and visitors after the pandemic.
Ensure that the new strategy aligns with Scotland’s and Glasgow’s tourism, climate and economic development goals.
Engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, in particular the city’s residents and tourism businesses.
Provide governance recommendations
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.
Destination analysis to understand and illustrate the current policy and strategic context, and ensure the new strategy alignment with them.
Market context and consumer trends analysis to understand factors shaping visitor demand.
Resident, youth and industry consultations to establish the strategy vision, mission, and key strategic priorities.
Strategy validation workshops with the Glasgow Tourism Partnership.
Benchmarking analysis of governance models of cities in a similar context.
Strategy development process with actions to improve sustainability and accessibility of tourism in Glasgow.
The project is still ongoing. The new strategy is planned to be launched in Autumn 2023.