Research Output

Scottish visitor attractions: managing visitor impacts.

  The visitor attraction sector in Scotland plays a vital, if often overlooked, role in the wider Scottish tourism industry. Yet the sector presently faces a host of internal and external threats. In terms of external threats, the sector is currently experiencing heightened competition not only from overseas tourism markets but also from domestic leisure activities such as sport and shopping. Meanwhile the sector is widely acknowledged to have an oversupply of visitor attractions. In terms of internal threats, it is increasingly being recognised that the sector is susceptible to a range of negative visitor impacts. Even at current visitor levels such impacts could seriously compromise the resources upon which the sector draws and ultimately depends. This paper presents the findings of a postal survey of all of Scotland's 510 paid admission attractions in 1999. The survey explored perceptions of the range and severity of visitor impacts, relating these impacts to factors such as attraction type, admission prices, visitor numbers and ownership status. The paper concludes that predictions of future external trends do not bode well for the Scottish industry in its current form, and that an internally focused, quality-oriented strategy is required if the majority of attractions are to survive and prosper in the coming decade. This, in turn, means developing more effective ways of managing visitor impacts. While the focus of this study is on Scotland, some important lessons are identified for visitor attractions more generally.

Citation

Garrod, B., Fyall, A. & Leask, A. (2002). Scottish visitor attractions: managing visitor impacts. Tourism Management. 23, 265-279. doi:10.1016/S0261-5177(01)00077-2. ISSN 0261-5177

Authors

Keywords

Scotland; attractions; visitors; impacts; sustainability; tourism;

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