Scottish Government Explores Social and Economic Impact of Tourism Through Geotourist Data

In January 2023, Geotourist and Dr Keith Dinnie, from the University of Dundee, launched a shared project to identify and assess Geotourist's economic and social benefits to Scottish tourism. With over 60 applications from Scotland's Destination Management Organisation and tourism-related organisations, 21 partners were invited to onboard the project.

Publish Time: 2024-02-06 17:31:30
Source: Breaking Travel News

In January 2023, Geotourist and Dr Keith Dinnie, from the University of Dundee, launched a shared project to identify and assess Geotourist's economic and social benefits to Scottish tourism. With over 60 applications from Scotland's Destination Management Organisation and tourism-related organisations, 21 partners were invited to onboard the project.

Each partner brought one or more multimedia trails to the Geotourist platform, showcasing their destination or brand, and were granted access to Geotourist's data dashboard for analysis and review.

The results are set for release in early February 2024, in a paper authored by Dr Keith Dinnie, an industry report co-authored by Dr Keith Dinnie and Geotourist CEO, Shaon Talukder, and an online event for Scottish tourism industry stakeholders.

Tourism has been identified as a key driver for future growth in economic development by the Scottish Government. To develop an accurate picture of motivations and decision-making around travel and detailed visitor behaviour, Government-backed agency, Interface, partnered with Geotourist, and one of the world's leading authorities on place branding, Dr Keith Dinnie, from the University of Dundee, to build this data picture for the country.

A global storytelling platform that preserves human-centred stories connected to places in-location, Geotourist measures the engagement of immersive content as inspiration pre-travel or as immersive content while visiting. Addressing a widely unmet need across the travel and tourism industry, Geotourist answers the question, 'what makes people travel?'. Working together, Geotourist and Dr Keith Dinnie will assess the impact of creating a digital footprint where none existed and taking the data generated to inform strategic decision-making and campaign performance.

With significance on a global scale, this project will help Scottish tourism organisations to unlock data sets that have not been measured or previously accessed. The data generated by destinations' own visitors removes the need for a third-party data provider or the general data pool to provide destination leaders with accessible, actionable insights that reveal which activities are delivering real visitors in and which are losing organisations money. The goal is to help destinations accelerate their economic growth by using data to focus on the activities that their visitors would travel for.

Geotourist welcomed 21 partners to the project and to the platform, bringing the following tours to the platform:

VisitScotland – Food and Drink Trails – Discover the award-winning local producers, artisan brands and retailers that make Scotland's food and drink world famous, from cheese to chocolate, all set in the most spectacular scenery that Scotland has to offer.

ScotRail West Highland Line - The West Highland Line is often referred to as one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world, and for very good reason! Once the ScotRail train departs Glasgow you'll find yourself travelling through some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, some of which are only accessible by rail.

V&A Dundee and National Trust for Scotland – In collaboration with V&A Dundee and National Trust for Scotland, the Tartan Trail will take you across the country, exploring the connections that Tartan has to place, history and rebellion.

Explore IslayJura - This trail of the Queen of the Hebrides and Whisky Island takes you around Islay, its breathtaking beaches, world class distilleries, ancient heritage, clear waters, mouthwatering food and the best hospitality. The Jura trail takes you through the island's rugged landscape and fascinating history from the Paps of Jura, to our whisky, gin and rum distilleries and how George Orwell came to Jura to write 1984.

North West Highland Geopark – The Rock Route is a series of 14 information panels located throughout the North West Highlands Geopark starting from Ullapool in the south to Loch Eriboll on the north coast.

Welcome to Fife - Fife has a growing reputation for food and drink, particularly locally made and sourced products, and the tour highlights 20 locations across the Kingdom which showcase these aspects. The tour includes a wide range of places from farm shops to fine dining restaurants.

Attadale Gardens – Explore a verdant world where the Gulf Stream ensures a garden flourishes on a latitude further North than Moscow.

Outer Hebrides East Lewis Tour - History, Beaches and Community - "The Audio tours take visitors to great spots around our islands with the opportunity to discover more about our history and experience Gaelic culture in our communities".

Visit East Lothian - 'A walk round East Linton', created by Visit East Lothian is an exciting new trail linking the soon to be opened rail station with a mix of attractions, heritage and history, places to eat and shop.

Dalkeith Country Park - The trail provides visitors with insight into the vibrant history held within the grounds and historical buildings of The Park and offers a fascinating insight into some of The Park's most notable buildings and structures such as, Dalkeith Palace, Montagu Bridge, The Orangerie, Restoration Yard and many others.

Invisible Cities – Our Edinburgh: Stories That Matter to Us - Invisible Cities' guides and trainees choose the places in Edinburgh that matter to them.

Hopetoun House - Together with Geotourist, Hopetoun House has created a Grounds Tour which will allow visitors to discover Hopetoun at their own pace.  Narrated by Fiona Wall, Head of Visitor Services & Education at Hopetoun, this tour is educational and informative and covers a multitude of historical information.

Go Tweed Valley - Tweed Valley Tales - Nature, History and Stories - Created by Go Tweed Valley and Destination Tweed, this tour of 20 sites provides a flavour of the area's rich cultural, natural, built and social history with many of the sites reachable by foot and bike using the valley's extensive network of off-road, multi-use paths.

Visit Arran – VisitArran's Geopark - With mountain climbs, wonderful walks, golf courses, wildlife, arts and crafts and local produce, dramatic seascapes and landscapes, explore Arran.

SCOTO - The SCOTO Loo Trail - A trail of public loos across Scotland that are provided by the local community to ensure you get a warm welcome and we meet your most basic needs on your travels.

Cateran Country - Visit Cateran Country and take a Spin Along the Ericht with two trails created by the Cateran Ecomuseum and Visit Cateran Country.  Perthshire's cateran country is in the heart of Scotland with a rich cultural heritage, forged from the stunning and often dramatic landscapes.

Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries - The Dundee Tour - This tour takes you on a journey from The V&A and features content on tartan and Dundee's rich textiles history as well as introducing you to some of the history and interesting places and stories in and around the city centre.

Highland Coast Hotels – Explore some of the best places to visit and things to do as you journey west to east or vice versa across the Scottish Highlands!

Crawick Multiverse - Crawick Multiverse is an amazing land art installation designed by Charles Jencks, an internationally renowned landscape designer and artist. A former open cast coalmine, the 55-acre site is home to landforms that depict aspects of space, astronomy and cosmology.

DeeTour – From Aberdeen to Balmoral - The area known as Royal Deeside has excellent opportunities for sightseeing and enjoying a new experience or two.

Angus Spirit Trail - The Angus Spirit tour holds many delights to be discovered. It is also home to some of the most innovative and exciting Spirit producers in Scotland who combine tradition with some modern flair to offer tasting experiences to set the tastebuds tingling.

The tours are currently live. Leveraging immersive storytelling as a way of accessing destinations, attractions and locations across Scotland, the pioneering project will measure engagement and assess the value of the tours both socially and economically.

This project is funded by the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund administered by Interface.

Shaon Talukder, CEO, of Geotourist said:

"We are overjoyed to welcome all of our partners onto the project. Working on this project - an industry first, with all of our partners has been a hugely rewarding experience and we're only really starting out. The partner mix is enormously compelling with many different aspects of the Scottish visitor economy ready to be explored. Every tour is special because it captures truly authentic content that showcases why Scotland is a world-class destination for any tourist. Now, we're going to be able to understand what makes people travel to, and across Scotland with data. This project will directly inform decision making and help to make the most of tight budgets. Alongside the practical and business-focused outcomes of the project, we must not forget the storytelling experience which connects visitors to the world around them."

Dr Keith Dinnie, Reader in Marketing and Associate Dean Business and Community Engagement, University of Dundee School of Business, said:

"I am delighted to see the wonderful range of destination stakeholder organisations that have agreed to participate in this ground-breaking project. Partners in the project come from all over Scotland, from the far north to the border with England in the south. Working with Geotourist on this project has been, and continues to be, an inspiring and highly productive experience."

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager, Interface, said:

"It's great to see Geotourist, one of the successful applicants of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund with the University of Dundee, making an immediate impact on the Scottish Tourism sector.  The project will support companies gain greater insight into those visiting Scotland to create even better experiences while adding value for the businesses and the wider sector.  Through this exciting collaboration, Geotourist will be able to benefit from world class academic expertise and develop their Innovative Platform with a focus on the Scottish Visitor economy which benefits everyone involved."