Friday, October 05, 2007

Tourism For Dummies?

It gets worse. Yesterday at their Tourism Forum Jim Mather, minister for tourism, believes the industry should aim for £2.1 billion more every year over the next eight years by attracting high-spending visitors willing to pay for a higher-value holiday. He wants to expand tourism in Scotland by 50 per cent by 2015 despite VisitScotland repeating a warning that the figure is unachievable on current trends.

VisitScotland's chief executive Philip Riddle is now back peddling from what he was saying last year that 50 per cent was "an ambition rather than a target" and the genesis of the figure had been "less than scientific". Meanwhile John Brown the head of the tourism unit at the Scottish Executive, told the conference Jim Mather was still committed to the target - and could make it tougher. Mr Brown said growth could be achieved through events such as Homecoming Scotland, which will encourage thousands of expatriate Scots to return in 2009 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: "The targets are ambitious. However, Scotland is an ambitious country and we will continue to work towards 50 per cent growth." We used to be the 'best small country' now they want us to be the 'best ambitious country.’

And where are the plans for all this growth, real action rather than "less than scientific" twaddle from VisitScotland and the Minister for Tourism? Meanwhile Mr Mather's expenses for last year to the parliament reveal he sent our money on a copy of ‘Statistics for Dummies’ and ‘Statistical Analysis and Excel for Dummies’.

If only there was a book called 'Tourism For Dummies', then again maybe they're better placed to write 'Tourism By Dummies'?

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