chapter  9
The tourism geography of Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man
Pages 11

Since devolution of power to Scotland in 1999, Scottish tourism is administered by the Scottish Tourist Board (VisitScotland), EventScotland and a range of regional and local agencies, while the Scottish Tourism Forum represents the industry to government. Tourism is important economically, directly supporting almost 200 000 jobs and accounting for 5 per cent of GDP. The Scottish tourism product is delivered primarily by small businesses and this places a question mark over the quality of the product at times, and has also held back investment in the sector; for example there are few all-weather developments. Scottish tourism is based on scenery, cultural heritage and the large ethnic market formed by the descendants of emigrants, especially in Canada. Special interest and activity holidays are also important – particularly those based on fishing, whisky and golf. Scotland’s tourists come mainly for leisure purposes, as the country was a late entrant into the conference and exhibition market. The overseas market has remained healthy for Scotland, with the USA and Continental Europe providing most of the demand. Most visitors arrive by air, as Scotland has no direct ferry access to mainland Europe. Scotland also attracts domestic tourism, of which around one-half originate from within the country. Increasingly, Scotland faces a dilemma: the traditional image of lochs, tartan and heather is inappropriate for the newer forms of tourism, based on short city-break products as developed in Glasgow and Edinburgh.