Tourism is vital and competitive - Some interesting statistics.

I’ve no doubt that anyone involved in Tourism recognises the value and importance of the business at National, Local and individual levels. Some interesting facts for 2005 show that overall in Scotland Tourism provides for a little under 9% of all employment. Regionally this varies from the Highlands at 13.5% to the Scottish Borders at 7.3%. Take into account alternative employment opportunities in the Borders though and you can still see just how critical tourism is.

Of the 17m overnight trips made to Scotland 86% came from the UK but of the Overseas Visitors a staggering 16% came from the US and 11% from Germany. These two provided the bulk of visitors and are renowned for their raised levels of expectation. The numbers of visitors to Scotland who come just for the walking and golf are insignificant compared with the numbers seeking culture and history.

By far the greatest number of visitors travel by private car – which perhaps says more of our public transport than the visitor’s love of a car! That said, we should recognise that our visitors come to us, especially the overseas visitor, on unfamiliar roads, road systems and possibly in a hired car. Do we make life easy for these guests? They are honouring our attractions with their patronage and money.

Their visit starts well before they arrive in Scotland but their high point should be the attraction they’ve decided to visit. The choice grows annually and attractions need to recognise this when welcoming guests and seeking their loyalty for return, virtual visits or subsequent arms length financial support.

As managers or owners ask yourselves, honestly, do you do this? If you are an employee are you given the opportunity to provide the service the customer needs, deserves and expects?

I’m not offering a big stick – indeed I hope more often to praise in my audits than complain. What I do though is offer a real value for money opportunity to ensure excellent through a raised awareness of customer service provision. My contact details are on this site for a conversation about how I may help. The cost of the audit is minimal compared with the cost of getting it wrong!

My next blog will tell you how a recent visit to a wonderful historic building was runined.

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