Can we make Scotland more accessible and affordable for tourists?

Tourism is Scotland’s biggest industry and we have an excellent product — our scenery, our cities, our heritage, our people. We want to release the potential of our tourism industry by focusing on promotion, accessibility, and affordability.

While visitor numbers fall, Scotland faces increasingly stiff competition from other European destinations. To ensure that our tourist industry thrives, two core problems must be overcome - one is ineffective marketing and the other is poor accessibility.

If we are to release the potential of our tourist industry, VisitScotland must be properly focused and empowered. Currently it acts as tourism police force, whereas marketing is the responsibility of a number of organisations. This leads to wasted resources and mixed messages.

VisitScotland must be refocused from its current regulatory function to a more effective role as a dedicated marketing body. Once refocused on marketing, VisitScotland must then be empowered to sell our tourism product abroad. VisitScotland, and not the British Tourist Authority, must become the marketing agent of Scotland overseas — thus enabling us to target our key markets and boost the number of tourists visiting Scotland.

In order to compete, Scotland must become a more accessible and affordable holiday destination.

Good transport links, both externally and internally, are vital if we are to support and promote our tourist industry.

More direct flights to a greater diversity of strategic European and world destinations are vital, not just for tourism but across all sectors in the economy and will be promoted with our Route Development Fund.

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