Stephen Harwood

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

The aim of this paper is to provide background material about institutional developments within Scottish Tourism. It is a narrative that commences with the Development of Tourism Act 1969 and traces what are perceived to be the main developments over the last 40 years.
This period has been categorised into four phases. The first phase (1970s and 1980s) is suggested as a period of learning involving trying out new functions, e.g. setting up a quality scheme, taking responsibility for overseas promotion and encouraging forward bookings. The first national strategy (1975) was proposed during this period. The second phase draws upon this learning experience to refine practices, e.g. expansion of the quality scheme. During this period there were two reviews (1993 and 1997-9) as well as a new national tourism strategy (1994). This explicitly recognises both the fragmented nature of the industry and the economic importance of tourism to Scotland. Devolution provided the opportunity for tourism to be more formally instituted and marks the start of the third phase (1999-2007). This phase experienced five reviews and three strategies. The underlying theme of this phase is perhaps the restructuring of the industry through the dissolution of the membership based Area Tourism Boards. The start of the fourth phase (2007-) was marked by the election of a SNP minority government, the subsequent public sector restructuring and another new tourism review. These latter two phases are characterised by the Scottish Government’s desire to lead the industry through the provision of a national strategy and the development of the structural conditions that will enhance effective business development and growth.
Issues raised in policy statements has highlighted that Scottish tourism industry is characterised by diversity and many stakeholders. One prominent feature is the on-going structural changes. With devolution and somewhat in contradiction to this, there has been increasing centralisation of public sector institutional decision-making and simultaneously increasing private sector localisation, this characterised by the emergence of many local tourism groups. This creates a challenge for public-private sector engagement and how both can work together for the benefit of Scottish tourism.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

Publication series

NameUniversity of Edinburgh Business School Working Paper Series
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School


Dive into the research topics of 'A NARRATIVE ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS IN SCOTTISH TOURISM 1969-2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this