I’m Studying Tourism… Again.

It’s time to start another project. I haven’t come close to finishing the other ones I’ve already started of course, but this is one I feel I need to sort out in my mind and make sense of here on the blog. Hey, it’s what I abuse you folk for, after all.

I can’t give too much away about the project, but I’m looking into tourism and travel at the moment, and how it brands itself, and how the brand can be flexible enough to encompass everything contained within a vast place. Not to make you sick of repeat-referencing sources but Scottish Natural Heritage is a really successful example of this.

Courtesy of Scottish Natural Heritage

Courtesy of Scottish Natural Heritage

Their nondescript use of icons doesn’t conjure the usual per-determined idea of what Scotland is or what experience people can expect from Scottish tourism. All too often the idea of rolling glens is placed in people’s minds and it feels like a brand which totally boxes itself in. Suddenly this is the only thing people can picture doing in Scotland, but surely it’s so much more. SNH take a graphical approach and it provides a fantastic result which only needs references what Scotland has to offer. Maybe this is something that could be used elsewhere or applied differently.

When people visit Scotland what experience do they expect? A relaxing time or an exciting adventure? Typically travel advertising campaigns hinge on one of these two, and perhaps it may do well to expand on the idea of Scotland being the world’s “best small country” selling it as a hidden gem, as a secret find, as something you’ll have felt lucky to find.

An alternative way of looking at tourism is this: when people go on holiday then don’t want to waste their time. TripAdvisor has made is millions or billions from this very fact, of reassuring tourists they’ll get the best out of their stay. It’s almost like getting shown around by a local. In fact there are some sites out there which cater to such a thing.  LocalMind is a search for exciting new events around the world; Vayable promises “unique trips and adventures curated just for you”; Sidetour challenges its visitors to “Do Something Memorable”; HipHost, likewise, puts you you in touch with friendly local hosts who create all manner of “fun things to do”.

Therefor there must be some mileage in the idea that “locals know.”

Listening to: Landfall by Friends Of Dean Martinez


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