chapter  5
22 Pages

The Development, Structure, and Public Policy of Tourism in Scotland

This chapter discusses tourismdevelopment, structure, and public policy in the 20th and 21st centuries in Scotland, and also the impact of devolution on Scottish tourism, an important outcome of which has been the elevation of tourism to cabinet status (the only such status in its own right in the U.K., albeit aligned to two other ministries: Culture and Sport, and since May 2003 somewhat downgraded in terms ofministerial status). However, although thiswas the uppermost pre-devolution wish of the industry it has not made it any less fragmented, disparate, or backward looking. There is also a continuing polarisation of opinions of those who view the industry as vital to Scotland’s economic growth, those whose expectations of it are in terms of lifestyle businesses, and those whose opinions lie somewhere in-between. Since devolution the various strategies, initiatives and announcements that purport to be Scottish tourism public policy have endeavoured to address the tension between these views. Furthermore, despite continual reviews of tourism in Scotland there is still no distinct tourism policy, or evident means by which such a policy could be integrated with other relevant policies. In fact, it could be argued that the integration of tourism with culture and sport in November 2001, as opposed to its previous ministry (Enterprise & Lifelong Learning 1999-2001), where it was mainstream of economic development, has been to the detriment of Scottish tourism, a topic which will be more fully discussed in Chapter 7. In the meantime, how Scottish tourism arrived at this point in its evolution is of interest here.

The Beginning of the Twentieth Century