Beach with sandunes

Do you need academic support to help diversify or reimagine your tourism service or product?

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry has been severely disrupted since March 2020.  Many Scottish tourism and hospitality businesses will be battling to survive the long-term impacts of lock down and restricted travel for both the domestic and international markets.  

Consequently, over the past few weeks, the industry-led by Visit Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance and other partners has come together in an unprecedented way to support both business survival and identifying key steps on the road to recovery. VisitScotland and the Scottish Government are ready to launch a national tourism marketing campaign when the time is appropriate.  VisitScotland have also stated that it will take a long time for the market to return to recent levels and that initially many tourism businesses will need to look to diversify their offering and source new and different markets. In particular, VisitScotland suggest that the domestic staycation in the UK may be the most important market in 2020/21 to tourism businesses.

With this in mind, Interface who work with businesses to connect them to Scotland’s world-leading universities and colleges have developed a service which will offer your tourism business the chance to collaborate with academics and students with expertise in tourism and marketing to help develop and support your business going forward in this very difficult time. 

This list is not exhaustive but suggested projects include subjects such as:

  • Research and development of individual marketing and digital strategies
  • Diversification, especially into new markets such as staycation and family reunions
  • Research into developing in-destinations and attracting new visitors
  • Business planning, financial planning, and procurement
  • Enhancing visitor experience – perhaps through application of Augmented/Virtual Reality
  • Review of current websites with recommended improvements
  • Development of new products and services and involving visitors in the co-creation of new products and services
  • Ways in which to embrace the circular economy/sustainability/improve green credentials
  • How to encourage visitor engagement e.g. post online positive experiences and memories
  • Online webinars to stimulate “out of the box” thinking etc. 

Some of these projects will be short term desk-based projects and others will be longer more in-depth projects.  The support offered from the academics and students is on a goodwill basis and will fit in around other demands on their time and commitments so flexibility will be required. It is envisaged this support will help you to be prepared and ready to push the button so to say, when the time is right and you can start trading again.

Please note that we hope to accommodate all requests for support, but there is no guarantee that your project will be accepted, it is dependent on the quality and quantity of requests we receive.  If we cannot accommodate your request immediately, we will look to support you in the next academic semester in September/October 2020.    

Applications are now closed. If you would like to find out more about working with academic teams in Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges, please contact us