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What is the Scottish Tourism Observatory project?

The Scottish Tourism Observatory is a key strand of the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme as developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG).

The aim of this project is to create a knowledge resource for Scotland’s tourism and events industry which will make necessary, relevant and valuable data, analysis and insight easily available and usable by all. This vital work will support our industry to successfully recover from COVID-19 and help to ensure its future resilience with robust data and insight-driven decision-making.

This project will be delivered by a collaboration of organisations, including VisitScotland, the Enterprise agencies, Scottish Tourism Alliance, and the Scottish Government, with the development running through 2021 to 2023.

Understanding the industry’s information needs

We want to make this resource useful, relevant, accessible and inclusive, so it’s crucial that we gather the views of a wide range of people, who need tourism data and information for their business or organisation.

During September and early October, we asked businesses to take part in an online survey to determine data needs, wants and current resources and skills of all the potential user groups. This vital feedback will allow us to understand stakeholder requirements and help inform the next steps of the knowledge resource project.  

The research was carried out by Optimat Limited and True North Innovation. 

What are sustainable tourism observatories?

Tourism observatories may vary in structure, however, all share a common goal: to gather and analyse data to support and inform policy, strategy and decision-making. They play a pivotal role in monitoring the economic, environmental, and social impact of tourism, to better understand destination-wide resource use and foster the responsible management of tourism.

These observatories have been developed by committed destinations around the world, under the guidance of a World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) initiative - the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO). To find out further information on INSTO and its main objectives, visit their website.

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