Perthshire’s tourism industry has joined forces with VisitScotland, Perth and Kinross Council and other leading stakeholders to produce a new tourism action plan which runs until 2025.
Setting out Perthshire’s ambition to becoming a leading sustainable tourism destination in Scotland, the publication recognises that the tremendous challenges faced by the sector continue and focuses on medium-term objectives to provide direction.
The overarching objectives aim to build on the past success of the region and to reinforce Perthshire’s position as a well-established and much loved destination – as well as reigniting it as a key contributor to the local and national economy.
The recently launched ‘Perthshire Talks Tourism’ series is already underway, bringing a series of webinars from local tourism associations and businesses focused on what is happening in the area. In addition, a successful application to the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund has resulted in a £70k budget to deliver an autumn-winter digital marketing campaign for Perthshire and Kinross.
Perthshire Tourism Partnership – a working group of industry representatives, Perth & Kinross Council and VisitScotland – has developed the plan which had originally been developed for launch in spring 2020. The strategy and action plan has since been reviewed to take account of the challenges now faced post-lockdown.
Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said:
“The resilience of the tourism industry during unprecedented times has been hugely impressive. Businesses have adapted their operations to accommodate new ways of working to keep their visitors, staff and the local community safe.
“It is essential that VisitScotland continues to work closely with partners across the tourism and events industry and throughout the community to provide a source of guidance and support, which is set out in the Perthshire Tourism Action Plan.
“It is critical that we all get out there and enjoy our incredible country with all it has to offer responsibly, as with the right support, tourism and events can lead the economic recovery.
“After all, tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone who experiences it.”
The four objectives of the Tourism Action Plan
- Restoring the value of tourism to pre-covid-19 levels, with a particular focus on extending the season for year-round visits
- Establishing Perthshire as a leading responsible tourism destination by encouraging responsible business practices, low impact activities and community-supported developments
- Ensuring that the impact and benefits of tourism are felt across Perthshire’s communities with a bottom-up approach through the network of local tourism associations and sector groups
- Making sure that Perthshire is a ‘digitally discoverable’ destination, so it is visible online as a responsible place to visit.
£70k Investment in Promoting Perthshire Breaks
As the global community adapts to life during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, new and different consumer behaviours and expectations are developing. One important change for the tourism industry is a move towards localism and the unique identity of a destination.
What was at first inflicted upon residents through travel restrictions, both nationally and internationally, has developed into a passion to support their own communities and small businesses, and those of the places they visit – identified as the localism trend.
In summer 2021, VisitScotland launched a £3 million Destination & Sector Marketing Fund to encourage the development of strong visitor propositions reflective of identified post-Covid-19 trends. By collectively marketing visitor experiences aligned to these trends, the aim is to ensure a sustainable recovery going forward.
As part of the new Tourism Action Plan, a £70,000 funding award has been secured, with investment in content creation and a digital media campaign aimed at driving short breaks and day visits in the shoulder months now underway. The proposed CityPlus campaign will build on the successful summer 2021 ‘Be Inspired’ message.
Making sure that Perthshire is a ‘digitally discoverable’ destination, so it is visible online as a responsible place to visit.
From January to March 2022, the aim is to galvanise the wins already made by expanding into activity providers and the outdoors, reinforcing the CityPlus message and the four key areas of Sustainable and Selective, Quality over Quantity, Diversity of the Region and The Personal Touch.
Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, commented on the upcoming campaign which is being created and delivered by the Tourism & Place Team at PKC. “Perthshire is the perfect location to showcase a modern, connected Scotland at an easy pace through the memorable experiences on offer.
“PKC’s campaign for early 2022 will focus on Everything Outdoors, with links to artisanal food and drink, another of the key trends identified by our team at VisitScotland.
“The overarching strengths of the Be Inspired Perthshire proposition dovetail neatly with the National Scotland Outlook 2030 strategy and I’m delighted to see the Loved By Locals narrative expanded as we enter Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.”