Scottish tourism businesses are being challenged to look at ways of tapping into Scotland's world-class events and festivals programme in the run up to 2014, when the country will host The Ryder Cup, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a year-long Homecoming Scotland celebration.
Companies are being urged to take advantage of this business opportunity in a new Events, Festivals & Cultural Tourism in Scotland guide published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (TIS), as part of its Opportunities for Growth series.
The guide is available to businesses who register at www.tourism-intelligence.co.uk.
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: "I very much welcome this guide which will enable tourism businesses all over the country to benefit from the many exciting events which are taking place over the next two years and will attract so many visitors to this country.
Scotland's vibrant tourism industry makes a substantial contribution to our economy and the Scottish Government and our enterprise and tourism agencies are determined to help businesses seize the enormous economic opportunities in the run up to 2014.
In addition to our established events and festivals, the release and European premiere of Disney-Pixar's Brave this summer has captured the imagination of many people globally, the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and second year of Homecoming in 2014 will further raise Scotland's profile."
Audrey MacLennan, Senior Tourism Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: "Events, festivals and cultural tourism are a thriving part of the Highlands and Islands and are bringing real economic benefits to the communities involved. Businesses working together to create a number of complementary events and experiences can offer even more to the visitor and can tempt them to stay longer, return year after year and can boost out of season bookings. We hope that the success stories showcasing activity across Scotland featured in the guide offer advice to others looking for ideas and inspiration."
Scotland's events programme already offers a significant contribution to the country's economy, generating almost £1.5 billion in gross turnover per annum, with Mintel research describing events as 'affordable escapism', meaning that visitors put these experiences above other spending options. Indeed, UK visitor spend on music concerts and festivals alone has grown by a massive 69% in the last five years.
The new guide provides tourism operators with the latest intelligence on Scotland's events and cultural tourism markets along with a raft of practical hints, tips and ideas to help them make the most of the year-round opportunities for their business.
Ideas include giving visitors information on transfer options to and from event venues, providing themed offers for those attending specialist events and festivals, offering a range of relaxation options for event participants during off times, and providing visitors with details about authentic Scottish eating options.
The Events, Festivals & Cultural Tourism in Scotland guide has been published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland, as part of its Opportunities for Growth series, aimed at helping businesses make the most of new and emerging opportunities in the sector.
Tourism Intelligence Scotland is a joint venture developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, in partnership with the tourism industry, to stimulate growth and innovation in tourism. The development of this guide was also supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland.
Other guides in the Opportunities for Growth series include: Scottish Tourism in the Future; Walking Tourism; Listening to our Visitors; Golf Tourism; Adventure Travel; Food Experience in Scotland; Mountain Biking Tourism; Sailing Tourism; Knowing our Markets....Scotland's Visitors 2012; and Wildlife Tourism in Scotland.