Please note that this fund is now closed
About the Fund
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced a monumental shift in the tourism industry and as we map our recovery, we must recognise that we are now operating in a new tourism landscape.
With constantly evolving international travel restrictions, stimulating domestic visitor demand and extending the season where possible are crucial to Scotland’s immediate tourism recovery.
The objective of the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund was to encourage destination and sector groups to collaborate and develop strong visitor propositions that are reflective of identified post-COVID-19 trends.
These should be promoted in a responsible way, using targeted campaign activity in the UK and Ireland market, inclusive of the local and day visits market.
By marketing visitor experiences that are aligned to what consumers are looking for in this ‘new’ world and aligning them to the latest consumer trends, it will help to ensure a sustainable recovery going forward.
The total value of the Fund was £3 million. This Fund was part of a wider Scottish Government support package linked to the Tourism Task Force Recovery plan, delivered by VisitScotland.
Recipients of the Destination & Sector Marketing Fund have also been offered a top-up as part of additional funding announced by the Scottish Government in December 2021. This was focused on the extension of the existing seasonal campaigns already planned and will help drive short-term demand in support of recovery.
Who could apply?
The Destination & Sector Marketing Fund was open to applications from destination and sectoral groups across Scotland. The Fund operated across three tiers. Please see the guidance document for full details on eligibility requirements for each tier.
Applicants to the Fund were required to develop their visitor propositions in line with post-COVID-19 consumer trends.
We outlined a selection of papers identifying key consumer trends with suggestions of how they could be translated into visitor propositions to help inform applications:
- Localism and authentic experiences
- Adaptable adventure
- Artisanal retail and food and drink
Localism and authentic experiences
Consumers have long been encouraged to 'discover what’s on your doorstep' and 'think global, act local', however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this became a much more tangible concept for all.
There is much evidence that the fundamental need for outdoor activities – which has been a growing tourism driver for years – has been further strengthened by the pandemic-related restrictions, with an increasing number of people becoming more active in their own local areas or looking for alternative ways of staying healthy and physically fit.
Consumers are looking to reconnect with the processes and products they use and the people producing them, both at home and as part of planned trips. Supporting small businesses forced to close during lockdown has encouraged digital adoption in these SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and increased access to their products.