AROUND 700 new jobs could be created in the tourism industry in Dundee by 2017 despite the city losing out on the title of UK City of Culture, according to a new report
Dundee missed out on being named City of Culture 2017 but it is predicted that more people will visit the city and surrounding area thanks to an improving economic outlook, both for the UK and internationally, as well as the redevelopment of its waterfront which includes the new V&A Museum, the Dundee City Region Tourism Labour Market Study concluded.
‘Third of jobs from V&A’
Commissioned by Scottish Enterprise and other public sector partners, the report found potential for a net increase of 700 jobs, of which around a third would be directly associated with visitors to the V&A Museum.
Will Dawson, convener of the local authority’s city development committee, said: “Considering that these estimates of growth are on the conservative side, it is still good news for the city and the wider area. Tourism is a vital part of our economy and the opportunities for growth and jobs in the sector is one that we must all work hard now to grasp.
“Job opportunities are there for almost every conceivable role in the sector but, in particular, there will be a need for people to take up skilled jobs like chefs.”
Mick McHugh, location director for Dundee at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The tourism sector is of vital importance to the Scottish economy, worth over £4 billion in direct expenditure from overnight visitors in 2012 and providing employment to hundreds of thousands of people across our cities and regions.
“The positive outlook for Dundee’s tourism industry, as outlined in this report, is welcome news for the region which is already showing a strong growth in visitor numbers and has much to offer in the coming years with the exciting waterfront regeneration and the arrival of the V&A, as well as opportunities arising from Scotland’s global profile in hosting the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.”
Sharp rise in recent years
The report’s authors, economic and social development consultants SQW, found that tourism in 2011 was worth £380 million and that the sector employs almost 20,000 people in an area which covers Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross councils and the North East Fife parliamentary constituency.
A sharp rise in tourism has been recorded over the last couple of years, with 1.9 million visitors to Dundee in 2011, of whom 1.7 million were from rest of the UK, according to the report.
Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay all lost out to Hull on the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2017 when the result was announced earlier this week.
Dundee’s bid featured a plan to host the Turner Prize, the Man Booker Prize, large music events and a comic book convention. Outdoor shows around the city’s landmarks, such as Tay Rail Bridge, were also planned and Hollywood actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming and Tilda Swinton were among those who might have featured in such productions.
The larger events will now not go ahead but the bid organisers say they want to raise the city’s cultural profile.