Thursday, June 14, 2007

VisitScotland Under Attack - Again

Alasdair Morgan, the SNP MSP, has written to new tourism minister Jim Mather condemning VisitScotland’s web site as unfit for purpose and expressing concern that the public-private partnership behind its creation was approved despite "clear evidence of non-viability at many stages of the process".

Now whether or not the last statement is true or not I’ve no idea but he’s certainly correct about it being useless. God help us if we allow it to go under government control because it really will end up costing the earth. In the election campaign there was an almost deafening silence from all the parties. In early May Alan Rankin, the outgoing chief executive of the public-private Scottish Tourism Forum, was critical of politicians in their lack of perceived ambition for the industry. He is particularly worried about the SNPs proposal 'to abolish the national marketing body VisitScotland and bring it under the control of a radically restructured Scottish Enterprise.' This letter from the MSP to the minister could well be the first move in an orchestrated campaigb by the SNP.

Arguably much of what happens in Scottish tourism happens despite VisitScotland. However, the SNP's idea of putting it under Scottish Enterprise is equally flawed. There's no question, given the industries importance to the Scottish economy, that radical action is needed. VisitScotland's web site, which is dull, full of mistakes and inaccuracies, and it lacks sufficient accomodation to attract visitors to certain parts of Scotland. Above all else it fails to deliver on 'Scotland the Brand'.


r morris said...

Maybe Scotland needs to hire that firm that came up with the logo for the London Olympics.

Richard Havers said...

They already did!