A Difference Of Interpretation? A content analysis of the ‘Evidence’ of the Scottish Area Tourism Board Review, 2002-2004

Stephen Harwood

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

The Scottish Area Tourism Board (ATB) Review, 2002-2004, based upon submitted
‘evidence’, found in favour of the dissolution of the ATBs. Upon their dissolution
autonomous local tourism groups have emerged and, further, two Area Tourism
Partnerships (ATPs) have proposed the formation of membership based Area
organisations. This suggests that the current structure of Scottish tourism is dysfunctional
and invites the question of what constitutes an effective structure? What issues need to be
considered? The ATB Review invited responses from the tourism industry to the question
of whether there was a need to change the existing ATB structure and what might these
changes be. These responses have been published by the Scottish Executive, as a series of
“Annexes” which include ‘summaries’ of each of the 322 responses. These summaries
provide insight into the issues of concern and their significance.
The aim of this paper is to establish the issues that need to be considered when examining
the structure and dynamics of the Scottish tourism industry by examining the issues raised
in the ‘evidence’ contained within the “Annexes” listed in the Scottish Government’s
analysis of responses to their ‘Call for Evidence’ on the Review of ATBs? A simple
content analysis has been used to identify the issues and their significance, both
geographically and by respondent type. The findings have been compared with those
presented in these “Annexes”. It is suggested that there is an alternative interpretation of
the evidence. This interpretation disagrees with several of the points raised in the Annexes.
The content analysis reveals that two thirds of respondents were in support of the retention
of the ATBs, with only one sixth of respondents in favour of their dissolution. The issues
raised by the respondents were diverse, but a basic frequency analysis reveals the three
main concerns. The most important of which was the need to improve ATB funding. The
second highlighted the necessity to improve ATB relations with other organisations (e.g.
other ATBs, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise), while the third emphasised the
importance of Local Authority involvement.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Publication series

NameUniversity of Edinburgh Business School Working Paper Series


Dive into the research topics of 'A Difference Of Interpretation? A content analysis of the ‘Evidence’ of the Scottish Area Tourism Board Review, 2002-2004'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this