Interface Digital Tourist event, Leven, 25th March

With reports that Scottish tourism is booming and new technology heralding the way forward for business growth, companies across Fife are being urged to consider the ‘digital tourist’ and take advantage of new revenue streams.

On Tuesday 25 March, Interface – the knowledge connection for business – is holding a free event for all businesses involved in tourism, focussing on how organisations can be more creative in the ways in which they cater for the modern tourist, how they can take advantage of financial opportunities, and how they can exceed expectations of visitors through the use of technology.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the twelve months to October 2013, the number of tourists visiting Scotland increased by two per cent with spending increasing by four percent over the same period. 

“With a steady increase in both home and overseas visitors to Scotland, any business operating in the tourism industry must ensure they are aware of the impact of digital advances and the real need to invest in technology, so they can ensure they’re not missing out on opportunities that being exploited by their competitors,” said Alan Feighery, Operations Manager at Interface.

“We’ve hosted similar events such as this in the Highlands & Islands, and it’s clear that there’s a real push from tourism businesses wanting to engage with digital technologies but not knowing quite where to start. 

“Interface can help match these tourism organisations with experts, and identify funding opportunities to help them start their digital journey,” he said.

Professional services firm, Deloitte, recently reported1 that Scotland has the second largest tourism economy in the UK – which accounted for almost 10% of the 2013 UK tourism spend, with the total tourism spend in Scotland for the year being £10.9bn – and total spending growing year-on-year by nearly 11% in real terms since 2012.

2013 Expenditure in the UK Tourism Economy

Region

Total Tourism Spending

Relative % of UK Total

London

£27.3bn

24.2%

Rest of England

£66.9bn

59.1%

Scotland

£10.9bn

9.6%

Wales

£6bn

5.3%

Northern Ireland

£2.1bn

1.8%

Source – Deloitte. Tourism: jobs & growth.

Professor Aaron Quigley, Chair of Human Computer Interaction at St Andrew’s University, who will be speaking at the Digital Tourism seminar commented:

“A one size fits all approach to influencing consumer behaviour, cannot exist in these times of social media and instant access to information.  Businesses need to be aware of how their customers want to interact with them, and just how they consume information. 

“Before they’ve even booked their holiday, accommodation, or excursions, more often than not, they’ve gone online, checked out what social media sites have to say, checked TripAdvisor and looked to see what your website says about you.  Businesses need to know how to use all these outlets to build their brand and perfect the ‘visitor experience’ before they’ve even arrived.

“The challenge in the future isn't to develop the next version of your website or an app, instead it's to consider how the tourist experience before, during and after they visit will be fundamentally changed as technology further weaves itself into the fabric of life,” he said.

Alan Feighery concluded: “This event, which is supported by Fife Tourism Partnership, will not only touch on the social media aspect of communicating with customers – and getting your share of the £10.9bn that tourists spent in Scotland last year, but will also look at the future technology trends, what organisations in the tourism sector should be looking towards and how investing in technology now could help drive customer loyalty and profits.”

The Digital Tourist: Meeting the needs of the Modern Visitor

Date:   Tuesday 25th March

Time:   11:00 – 15:00

Venue: Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Unit 5, Ajax Way, Leven

Click here for more information and to reserve your place

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

1 - www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedKingdom/Local%20Assets/Documents/Indu...

Photo by Gareth Weeks