Planning for the Bannockburn 2014 event must remain focussed if it is to be a success according to a report published today (28 May) by the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. The Committee also called for greater emphasis on promoting other events taking place across Scotland during 2014 to attract visitors from the North America clans.
Convener of the Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“It is clear that the Bannockburn 2014 event is of a smaller scale to the Gathering 2009 and therefore it won’t attract the same number of overseas visitors. It is also clear that effective marketing is crucial, as the event must achieve ticket sales of 75 per cent just to break even.
“We also need greater focus on marketing the additional homecoming 2014 events throughout Scotland to international tourists to maximise the benefits of these visitors to the Scottish economy.
“It is unfortunate that the necessary two year lead in time, required by North American clans to plan a visit to Scotland, has not been achieved with this event although there is the potential for increased number of UK and international visitors from the wider range of themes being promoted.”
In its report on Bannockburn 2014, the Committee is asking for an update in early 2014 from VisitScotland on progress made including any key planning milestones and interim financial targets. The Committee is also asking to see VisitScotland plans for how they will encourage visitors to the event to also visit other locations in Scotland.
Deputy Convener of the Committee Dennis Robertson MSP said:
“Our Committee is encouraged by the evidence we heard that key stakeholders are now working together to make this event a success.
“Whilst we are supportive of the approach taken so far, we need to make sure it stays on track. That is why we are asking for updates from VisitScotland on progress made and also detailed plans on how they will encourage tourists to visit other parts of Scotland, spreading the benefit of the event beyond Stirling.”
The Committee undertook an inquiry into VisitScotland’s ‘winning years’ strategy, during which it was made aware of the cancellation of the 2014 Clan Gathering, an event which was to have been a focal point of the Year of Homecoming 2014. In its report on the winning years the Committee agreed to take seek information from key stakeholders on the cancellation of this event.