Dundee scheme to capitalise on V&A tourists

An artist's impression of the proposed V&A museum set for the Tay's waterfront. Picture: Complimentary
An artist's impression of the proposed V&A museum set for the Tay's waterfront. Picture: Complimentary
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DUNDEE City Council is set to create a citywide tourism partnership to help capitalise on the expected boom in visitors when the new V&A museum opens on the Tay’s waterfront.

A report to go before the authority’s city development committee next Monday claims that the Dundee Waterfront Regeneration scheme and the flagship V&A development will present a major opportunity for growth in the tourism sector.

And councillors are being urged to back the city’s first tourism action plan to develop a sector that is already worth an estimated £137 million a year top the local economy.

Mike Galloway, the council’s director of city development, states in a report to the committee:”The Dundee Waterfront Regeneration and the flagship V&A at Dundee project will significantly increase the offer we have for potential visitors/tourists. When this is set alongside the city’s already award winning cultural facilities and visitor amenities, there is a real opportunity to grow this sector further”

But he warns: “In order to secure this growth there is a requirement to improve both the range and quality of the visitor experience.

“The city council through the Economic Development Division of City Development intends to work with this sector and its businesses to create a citywide Tourism Partnership which can help to drive the ambitions of the wider sector forward. The action plan has within it a range of activities which will help to create this over the coming months.”

The action plans report states: “The opportunity is current in relation to this sector - we need to be undertaking improvements and developments now and there is definitely a positive swell amongst businesses/organisations in this sector that more needs to be done to improve the sector locally. This ranges from the need to improve quality, attracting and developing more tourism and leisure products, more effective marketing and packaging of offers, and the need to create a tourism community which can be engaged and more effectively communicated with.

“The Waterfront Regeneration and projects such as the V&A at Dundee will create a significant opportunity for the city to exploit further business opportunities in this sector and attract larger visitor numbers into the city. The V&A at Dundee already estimate that visitors in the first year will be circa 500,000 and thereafter even out to about 300,000 per annum. It also significantly improves the proposition for Dundee to promote itself as a location for leisure tourism and specific products such as city breaks and a ‘cultural’ destination.

“In addition there is recognition that a new citywide tourism partnership framework does need to be developed and this is one of the key actions within the council’s plan - to identify and support the development of this group. One of the actions of this group will then be to define the wider city tourism action plan and identify opportunities to work together at a sectoral level whether this is related to marketing, quality or product development. “

Among the specific projects highlighted in the plan are a move to further develop a proposal for a marina at City Quay with a refurbished HMS Unicorn as the centrepiece and working with Forth Ports to explore and develop further opportunities for cruise ships to call at the city

Councillor Will Dawson, convener of the city development committee, said: “There is already a considerable amount of good work done in Dundee and the surrounding area to encourage tourism and offer visitors a positive experience while they are here.

“The plan proposes taking this to the next level through extensively promoting the city’s brand, enhancing the visitor experience and developing closer links between the organisations working in the industry.”