Helping Scotland’s tourism industry to rebuild and prosper

In recent months we have been working closely with the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group to build a two-year recovery plan that will put Scotland back on track to become a ‘leader in 21st century tourism’.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group’ (STERG) -a coalition of Scotland’s public sector agencies and business groups- has been working to monitor the effects of the pandemic on Scotland’s tourism sector, and coordinate the Scottish Government’s support for the country’s tourism sector.

The collaborative approach to managing the response to the pandemic is evidenced by the diverse organisations that constitute the STERG. Members of the Group include the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Skills Development Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

With work on the response to the pandemic ongoing, the STERG was asked by the Scottish Government to develop plans that would support the sector’s longer-term recovery too. STERG turned to TOPOSOPHY to facilitate this process. Naturally, we were delighted to help!

Between March and July 2021 we were commissioned by the Scottish Tourism Alliance on behalf of the STERG to take the lead on carrying out extensive consultations with tourism stakeholders from across Scotland, and support the process of selecting projects that would be truly transformational for the country’s tourism sector in the medium to long term.

What did we do?

  • Delivered online interviews, focus groups and workshops with 100+ public-private sector decision makers from across Scotland
  • Reviewed and shared global priorities for tourism recovery
  • Showcased international best practices and explored how these could be adopted in Scotland
  • Supported the ideation and project prioritisation process
  • Worked with the STERG to compile a 2-year recovery plan, together with key actions and investment requirements
Launching a new Programme for Government on 7th September 2021, the First Minister of Scotland Nioola Sturgeon said, “the tourism sector, along with the hospitality sector, is globally recognised as having been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Effective recovery will be vital in ensuring the sector can be a force for good in the local and national economy – through fair work, sustainable jobs, and value for communities - and place Scotland as a world leader in responsible tourism.”

As a result, the Scottish Government has provided a £25 million Tourism Recovery Fund supporting a range of projects this year, and is now considering the best approach to Phase 2 recovery work, covering the following 2 years. Further information about the recovery planning process is available through the STA.





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