VisitScotland has published a National Tourism Development Framework which will support the delivery of Scotland’s National Tourism Strategy “Tourism Scotland 2020” . VisitScotland consulted on the Framework early in 2013 and we are pleased to note many of Scottish Land & Estates’ suggested revisions have been included in the final document.
VisitScotland advise that the Tourism Development Framework for Scotland has for the first time pulled together an overview of the actions necessary to encourage support for the visitor economy in the Scottish planning system and with it, support for sustainable growth in this important economic sector.
In addition, the findings from the consultation process about development opportunities and infrastructure priorities have been collated and presented to all development planning authorities across Scotland in a separate report.
Given that Scottish Government is in the process of reviewing its National Planning Framework and its Scottish Planning Policy and incorporating this work, this Framework will also help ensure that planning is ever more focussed on supporting sustainable economic growth in the visitor economy.
The Framework focuses on a series of actions to help promote improvements to the customer journey. This customer journey is directly linked into the tourism industry’s Tourism Scotland 2020 aspirations and key growth sectors. The Framework sets out how VisitScotland will help to co-ordinate national and local stakeholders to deliver locally agreed actions. This process will help improve how agencies involved in delivering development opportunities or infrastructure improvements can work together. Overall, the process can guide future infrastructure and investment strategies of all relevant public sector organisations and highlight how investment decisions can add benefits to the visitor economy.
The Framework’s remit is to focus on development matters specific to the tourism industry, but it will be used by many national and local stakeholders. It is not a statutory document – it is about guidance and enabling. The primary purpose of this Framework is to provide guidance to development planning authorities to help secure growth in the visitor economy. It will also be valuable to other partners in the public sector – as well as being cited in Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework, it highlights future opportunities for investment and development to all councils and other stakeholders.
It will also help also help businesses in the tourism industry – by focussing on two key parts of the Scottish Tourism Association’s Tourism Scotland 2020 development strategy - Improving the Customer Journey and Providing Authentic Experiences, it promotes actions needed to support growth in a structured and consistent manner to the Scottish planning system.