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Evaluation of Planning to Succeed Programme in Tourism Sector 2010-14: final report


The Planning to Succeed Programme in the Tourism Sector (PTST) aimed to work with rural tourism business leaders to increase innovation, collaboration, investment and leadership in order to achieve higher value add from Scotland’s rural tourism assets. It involved facilitated support for groups of businesses over a three year period. The evaluation was commissioned ahead of a proposed continuation of the programme, with the aim of gathering evidence of its success, and particularly of its impact on action plans; additional activity undertaken by participants as a result of the programme; any outputs/actions achieved; potential outputs; and any collaborative activity.


The initial stage of the evaluation consisted of an inception meeting with the Scottish Enterprise Project Manager and analysis of documents related to the programme. The second, primary research stage comprised a consultation exercise with a range of PTST stakeholders, and two surveys conducted using a mix of web-based and telephone methods. The final stage of the evaluation involved analysis and interpretation of the findings from the prior two stages.


PTST participants reported that involvement with the programme had had a positive effect on their businesses, and that all had made changes which they could relate to learning or experience gained through their participation in PTST. The programme had had a significant impact on the personal development of the participants and again, a number of actions participants had taken in terms of this since participating in the programme could be attributed to their involvement. The findings indicated that PTST participants were now more likely to pursue opportunities for collaborative working with other tourism businesses. It is suggested that the main issue of concern with the programme raised by stakeholders was in terms of the recruitment and retention of participants with the ambition and potential to generate significant change in the offer and performance of the tourism industry in the sector. Overall , the evaluation found that PTST stakeholders felt that the programme had lived up to their expectations as a means of engaging tourism businesses in facilitated joint working in order to improve the collective performance and offer of tourism businesses in their area.


A number of recommendations are made, which it is suggested have the potential to enhance the effectiveness of the programme, including: the adoption of a more structured approach to the recruitment of participants; greater integration of PTST with other rural development initiatives promoted by Scottish Enterprise; and the development of a guide which provides participants with information on further support that may be available in their areas to help them take forward initiatives they have developed over the course of their participation in PTST.

Author Malcolm Watson Consulting
Published Year 2014
Report Type Evaluation
  • Equity
    Rural Development
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Sectors