A ten year tourism and event strategy for the Kingdom has been launched by Fife Tourism Partnership in conjunction with Fife Council and the Local Tourist Associations.
And those in the industry believe the key to it is embracing digital technology.
The strategy, which has been developed with detailed input from tourism businesses in Fife, sets out an ambitious yet realistic challenge for the region’s tourism sector to achieve even stronger economic and employment growth.
The vision is that by 2029 Fife will be one of the strongest digital destinations in Scotland.
With businesses taking advantage of digital opportunities and visitors and locals alike able to interact, book and share their positive experiences, leaving their own digital footprint for others to view, share and experience for themselves.
Building upon successes since the last strategy was announced in 2014, the ten-year plan seeks to unlock new growth opportunities.
The last four years have seen continued momentum for Fife, with the launch of the five-star attraction Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, confirmed World Heritage status of the Forth Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing officially opening.
Four strategic outcomes have been identified to underpin the plans:
- Creating a sense of place and growing Fife’s economy. Aiming to increase the value of tourism from £565m to £836m by working with regional partners to take advantage of opportunities to promote Fife.
- A digital tourism industry. Seeking one million page views on WelcometoFife.com
- A strong and successful events sector. Aiming to increaes the value of events in Fife from £18m to £20m.
- Tourism is a career choice. Aiming to increase the number of full time equivalent jobs from 11,500 to 13,000.
Moira Henderson, chairman of Fife Tourism Partnership, said: “Our new Fife Tourism and Events Strategy takes advantage of new opportunities and will see a programme of digital projects commence across Fife to help attract fresh audiences.
“There is no doubt that Fife needs to embrace the digital era right across its interaction with visitors, from when they are looking and planning their holiday to when they have been and are sharing their stories about Fife with family and friends.
“We’ll also engage with partners across the tourism sector to make tourism a career of choice for ambitious young people, who are the future of the region.”
While Sandra Montador-Stewart, service manager for economy, tourism and town centres at Fife Council, added: “Tourism in Fife already contributes £599m annually to the Scottish economy, supports 11,500 full time equivalent jobs and represents around 9 per cent of Fife’s workforce and we believe embracing digital technology is key to unlocking future growth.
“This includes the new augmented reality project and digital tours in Dunfermline – both new and exciting projects that will provide real-time interpretation of heritage sites across Fife for the first time.
“We look forward to working with partners across the region and beyond to continue to build upon Fife’s tourism success story.”