Jordi Tarrida: Bright future for Scotland if we invest in tourism
ACCORDING to Scottish Development International, tourism contributed £4.1 billion to the Scottish economy last year through more than 15 million visitors.
As a foreigner to these parts, who has worked around the world, I am proud to now be in this country and part of this important industry.
To keep tourism growing, we must ensure a high standard of training among those working in the sector. These staff are the key to success and they require the know-how to deliver an excellent customer experience, always making visitors feel welcome during their stay, whether they are five-star or budget travellers.
We must also nurture passion, as no amount of training can compensate for a lack of enthusiasm. If those working in this sector see their role as simply a job then they are in the wrong business.
For others who do have that passion, we should encourage them to remain in the sector by promoting the great career options that are available.
As I have personally experienced, the tourism sector offers fantastic prospects with international opportunities for those who are prepared to work hard.
Another key issue to address is airline accessibility. When one looks at how to develop a tourism market anywhere in the world the first question to ask is: “How do people get there?”
The biggest focus for Scotland has to be on attracting more direct air routes, especially from key European hubs such as Germany, Scandinavia and France.
At the moment, especially on the west coast, this is simply not happening, which is bad news for the sector.
There is one thing we can’t change about Scotland as a destination and that is the weather. We can, however, further promote the beautiful, green landscape that this climate does nurture.
We can also make this a virtue to the many Europeans who are keen to escape summer heat waves, as Scotland’s cooler weather offers the perfect respite with a bit of rain to enhance the great experience that lies in store for them.
• Jordi Tarrida is general manager of Turnberry Resort
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west