Exciting times for Dundee
Dundee is poised on the verge of an exciting future. The recent appearance of the City on a number of global 'places to visit in 2018' lists is testament to the work carried out by many in the City since the turn of the millennium. These are exciting times for Dundee with meaningful opportunities to grasp.
The opening of V&A Dundee on September 15th, the first Scottish museum of design, and the first V&A in the World outside London will be an important milestone in the Cities history. With its incredible architecture and distinctive appearance the new V&A Dundee is already one of the most photographed buildings in Scotland. With its permanent Scottish Design Gallery and rolling programme of exciting temporary exhibitions V&A Dundee will attract audiences from near and far.
While V&A Dundee is incredibly exciting its full success, as an economic driver for the City, is dependent on the actions and indeed interactions of many others, a collective, shared and sustained effort. This is the effort we would like you to support.
Beyond V&A Dundee there is an already established cultural sector in the City and acclaimed for its breadth, depth and quality of offer. With the growing vibrancy of the City we are confident that leisure and tourism will deliver against the expectation of it being a growth industry for both the City and region.
Whether you work in leisure and tourism or not we want you to get behind this initiative. We need your help to make Dundee a success.
The creation of VisitDundee
Until now there has been no single body or organisation that represents the tourism sector in Dundee in its varied forms.
VisitDundee (www.visitdundee.com) will focus on bringing local / regional tourism businesses together in ways that showcase the best of what the City has to offer, packaging consumer-ready product, branding them, and taking them to market in efforts to encourage tourists to book short breaks in the City.
We want people to visit and we want them to stay. It is exactly this that will help fill our attractions, restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and expanding bed stock across both Angus and Dundee. This will deliver far greater economic benefit than that afforded by day-trippers alone.
We will target a number of audiences. VisitScotland recognises five segments, based on consumer behaviour, that it believes represent the best return on investment for Scotland, Adventure Seekers, Curious Travellers, Engaged Sightseers, Food-Loving Culturalists and Natural Advocates. The most obvious of these groups for Dundee to focus on are Food-Loving Culturalists, Engaged Sightseers and Curious Travellers.
We will explore ways that strengthen the private sector offer through any means available. We will offer leadership, champion local produce and product and work tirelessly to support the growth of all tourism businesses in our region with the primary objective of maximising the economic benefit to the City and region through our tourism assets. We anticipate that a collateral benefit of our work will be to showcase Dundee as a great place to invest, study, work and live.
While Dundee will be our primary market for activity we will support the wider distribution of benefits when given the opportunity. Our approach will be an inclusive one, our doors wide open to collaborating with our public and private sector partners in Dundee but also Angus, Perth & Kinross and Fife.
We will also work closely with VisitScotland in efforts to ensure our approaches are aligned and our routes to market optimised. We will avoid duplication of effort whenever possible and instead emphasise collaboration and the pooling of resources / dovetailing of effort.
Our company structure will reflect our collaborative approach with key stakeholders being extended the offer of a seat on the board. We will also extend the offer of board positions to a handful of our wider business leaders in efforts to reflect interest in our efforts from the wider business community and secure a wider buy-in. A key strategy to achieving sustainability will be this wider engagement from those seeking to support the City.
Why we need your help
Our existing cultural and tourism business have spent years marketing themselves as independent organisations. This work needs to substantially continue, particularly locally.
VisitDundee will deliver a different approach and which will need to be funded separately to existing efforts. We have already gone out to a number of local businesses and individuals and who have given generously but our simple business model means the more funds we can raise the more work to promote Dundee as a compelling short break destination we can do.
VisitDundee’s main operating costs will be the employment of a small but highly skilled team and the work required to develop short break packages and take these to market.
The funds raised through this initial campaign will support our first initiative. If able to exceed our initial target it will support the development and promotion of a second initiative.
We will conduct regular independent evaluation in order to quantify the impact VisitDundee is having on the local economy.
We all have a vested interest in the successful growth of our leisure and tourism sector and would welcome your support for this important initiative.