Could academic support help you diversify or reimagine your tourism product?
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry has been severely disrupted since March 2020. Many Scottish tourism and hospitality businesses will be battling to survive the long-term impacts of lockdown and restricted travel for both the domestic and international markets.
Consequently, over the past few weeks, the industry has come together in an unprecedented way to support business survival and identify key steps on the road to recovery.
It will take a long time for the market to return to recent levels and initially many tourism businesses will need to look to diversify their offering and source new and different markets. In particular, domestic staycations in the UK are likely to be the most important market in 2020/21.
With this in mind, Interface who work with businesses to connect them to Scotland’s world leading universities and colleges, has developed a service which will offer your tourism business the chance to collaborate with academics and students with expertise in tourism and marketing. This could help you develop and support your business going forward in this very difficult time.
Suggested projects include, but are not limited to, subjects such as:
- Research and development of individual marketing and digital strategies
- Diversification, especially into new markets such as staycation and family reunions
- Research into developing in-destinations and attracting new visitors
- Business planning, financial planning, and procurement
- Enhancing visitor experience – perhaps through application of augmented or virtual reality
- Review of current websites with recommended improvements
- Development of new products and services and involving visitors in the co-creation of new products and services
- Ways in which to embrace the circular economy, sustainability, and improve green credentials
- How to encourage visitor engagement
- Online webinars to stimulate “out of the box” thinking
Some of these projects will be short term desk-based projects and others will be longer, more in-depth projects. The support offered from the academics and students is on a goodwill basis and will fit in around other demands on their time and commitments so flexibility will be required. It's envisaged this support will help you to be prepared for when the time is right and you can start trading again.
Interface hopes to accommodate all requests for support, but there is no guarantee that your project will be accepted. If Interface can't accommodate your request immediately, it will look to support you in the next academic semester in autumn 2020.
If you are interested and would like to participate please complete the template and email to Mari.Findlay@interface-online.org.uk as soon as possible, and by Friday 29 May 2020 at the latest.