At this year's Scottish Tourism Alliance Conference the Destination Towns and Cities Action Plan featured collaboration as essential for destinations to improve the visitor experience and drive more spend into local businesses.
The Destination Towns and Cities action plan is about helping businesses to work together to make the most of their assets and drive more visitor spend.
Key actions were identified to take this forward:
- Stronger local marketing and product development will require businesses to take the lead, collaborate and set the pace
- Proactive and energetic destinations will drive campaigns, product development and investment plans
- Every business engaged in tourism should get involved with their local destination group
An example of a successful destination tourism group is the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance which was set up in 2010 as a consortium co-operative. There is now an over-arching group known as Argyll & the Isles Tourism Co-operative set up in 2012.
This co-operative is the link between private businesses and the 'Argyll and the Isles Strategic Partnership' through which national bodies (Visit Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council, Calmac and others) work together on Argyll’s tourism agenda. After only a year the new consortium has already made outstanding achievements in progressing the tourism industry in Argyll.
Read more about collaborative business models on the Co-operative Development Scotland website