Edinburgh, the capital of choice for more than 13 million visitors a year, recently became the first UK city to come out shining in a poll of the world’s top cities.
Accolades like that show Edinburgh has grown far beyond its reputation for spectacular showpiece events, such as the Fringe and Hogmanay. This exciting city, rich in history and culture, is beginning to attract the luxury traveller. This is something we must capitalise on.
To boost its pole position and draw interest from such visitors, Edinburgh — and the rest of Scotland — must be passionate and ambitious when it comes to developing its tourism industry. Not only has VisitScotland set its sights on a 50 per cent growth target by 2015, but Jim Mather, the tourism minister, seems to have brought a spirit of business enterprise to his remit. We have to harness that confidence and focus it on raising our game.
By wholeheartedly embracing the luxury traveller, there are wider economic benefits to be had. They bring with them far greater business opportunities for local golf courses, restaurants and sporting organisations. They spend in our shops and draw on local services, from whisky through to kilt-makers, from providers of outdoor sports to helicopter services.
Five-star venues are gearing up to receive these visitors, welcoming guests from the US and Russia. But while success in international polls and glossy marketing can entice tourists to spend time and money, we want them to return again and again; this can be achieved only by providing outstanding levels of service. We have to surpass all expectations of all visitors.
This UK city is a good example of what tourism can do. Because of all the tourism they’re receiving, it’s opening up the opportunity for people to consider starting a business that would do well thanks to the travelers that visit that area.
Image from Stock.xchng.