Page Loading

Dundee City Region tourism labour market study


Dundee City Region’s tourism sector is set to benefit from the establishment of a new tourist attraction, the V&A (Victoria and Albert museum of art and design) at Dundee City Centre’s waterfront. This report looks in detail at the profile of the tourism industry within Dundee City Region and the potential for growth in the sector over the coming years, as a result of the new V&A and other developments. It also considers the likely employment and skills requirements of the industry, as it grows, focusing on both new entrants to the sector and the up-skilling of the existing workplace to respond to increasing demand.


The methodology consisted of: a literature review of industry publications and official data sources during April/May 2013; consultations with local and national stakeholders; telephone consultations with skills suppliers across the region; and consultations with tourism and hospitality employers across the regions (35 online survey responses and 17 in-depth telephone consultations).


Tourism-related businesses are a large and important part of the Dundee City Region economy, contributing £316m in Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2010, which equates to 6 per cent of the total GVA for the region. The day visit market is disproportionately important for Angus and Dundee (estimates suggest that the expenditure on day visits amounted to £242 million in 2011). The report finds that the tourism outlook for Dundee is very positive, with UK and international economies improving, the arrival of the V&A in Dundee, the regeneration of the waterfront and new hotel and leisure developments. It estimates a net increase in tourism-related jobs of around 700 by 2017, of which a third would be directly associated with visitors to the V&A in Dundee. The report suggests that more than half of the new jobs are likely to be in sales and customer service or other elementary occupations. Employers will be looking for candidates with ‘soft’ skills, such as positive attitude, motivation and communication, rather than more technical or job-specific skills, to fill these posts. Skills mismatches within the sector are most likely to be around sourcing appropriately experienced and qualified managers and chefs, and in sourcing appropriate local training for managers.


The report recommends that, given the scale of investment at the waterfront, it is important to make sure there is also investment in delivering high standards of customer service. The interest and engagement of the sector at the moment provides a momentum that could be used to encourage businesses to participate in skills and training activities. The report recommends that improving skills and customer service is best addressed at a destination level, and investment in skills should be made through the leadership and coordination of a skills group for the tourism industry in Dundee City Region. The report outlines further detailed recommendations within three areas for action, in order to: develop mechanisms for matching skills supply to demand; access new opportunities; and implement initiatives to develop skills in the existing workforce.

Author Susan Mackay, SQW
Published Year 2014
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development, Leadership/management development
  • Sectors