The tourism market has never been so competitive. The top ten destinations of the world now appropriate to 70% of international tourists (Pike, 2004). Tourism in Scotland is worth 4.5% of the total GDP and represents 8% of employment (Yeoman, 2005). Durie et al. (2006) states that, the rich history, culture and nature “create a sense of a place” in Scotland, along with a national identity. This is a great point for differentiation in the battle for tourists. However, Scotland must not rest on its laurels.
This report will develop a strategy that will help make “Scotland the brand”. We will first, review the reasons to promote a distinctive image, select target groups for Scotland and finally, identify a set of communication channels to reach the selected target groups. Morgan and Pritchard (2002) believe that to be successful, a brand must possess the following six characteristics.
Firstly, the destination brand must be “credible” and “deliverable”. Morgan and Pritchard (2002) argue that a destination has to find a unique selling proposition which its competitors are envious of. This unique selling proposition can be replicated by the competition but it cannot be appropriated. Morgan and Pritchard believed that a destination brand has to be “credible” and “deliverable”; it is a promise to the tourists and must “allow them to develop expectations, which are realistic and easy to fulfill” (Buhalis, 2000: 101). Allard (2004) assumes that, the destination must exceed the customers’ expectations, offering them a very high satisfaction to stimulate advertizing by word of mouth.
Currently, the UK has the largest market with respect to tourism: It has 60% of the total revenues of tourism (Scottish Executive, 2000). The United States are the largest overseas market with respect to leisure tourism (Durie et al., 2006). The American tourists visit Scotland as a part of a British (even European) itinerary (Scottish Executive, 2000). They have always showed their interest in meeting the Scots. In the following decade, the American market will grow less than the European market.
It is predictable that it will be sensitive to crises such as terrorism (Yeoman, 2005). Germany is traditionally the largest overseas market after the United-States (Scottish Executive, 2000; Durie et al., 2006). The natural environment quality is prominent in the choice of destination for German tourists and with the help of the low-costs air links, this market is likely to grow quickly.
France was the third largest overseas market in 2002 (Scottish Executive, 2004). The number of French electing Scotland for their holidays is growing (Scottish Executive, 2000). In 2004, tourism minister Patricia Ferguson declared that France is one of our most significant tourism markets, but there is further potential for growth. Historical alliances and close cultural links coupled with improving transport links provide opportunities to exploit this lucrative market, and raise Scotland’s profile as a must-visit destination (Scottish Executive, 2004).
In European countries more than one million students have studied in another European country with the funding from the Erasmus. Erasmus arranges student exchanges between 2,000 institutions in thirty one European countries and the latest figures indicate that the number of Erasmus students increased by more than 9% in the year 2003-2004(The Guardian, 2005).
Tags: Tourism market, history, culture ,European market
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