Could tourism in Fife in 50 years time have villages cashing in on the Outlander story with holographic characters?
And will flying taxis and rockets take visitors on low orbit earth experiences through the Northern Lights from a space port in Leuchars? Those are two of the tongue-in-cheek ideas unveiled by VisitScotland as it marks its 50th anniversary by looking ahead to how things might be in 2069.
Robot butlers, mega-cities, midge haggis and the return of mammoth airships are just some of the novelties to expect in the future of Scottish tourism.
In the next five decades the world could be feeling the heat with people looking to escape rising temperatures in a milder Scotland which has held onto its strong historical and cultural ties as Glasgow and Edinburgh have merged into a mega-city – Glas-burgh or Edin-gow.
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A new research paper, Tourism Futures 2069, authored by VisitScotland’s Insights department also looked at how rural areas could be protected from over development but benefit from better transport and digital connectivity and a vibrant country environment evolves for artisans, creatives, farmers and distillers. } And the enduring global appeal of TV show, Outlander, could till be going strong – to Fife’s benefit.
VisitScotland’s latest campaign could be marking the 55th anniversary of the it TV show which aired for the first time in 2014.
Villages like Culross in Fife might be populated with 7D holographic characters from the show and allow fans to immerse themselves in an episode from the TV classic.
A potential launch of Boeing’s Hypersonic airliners in the 2040s could lead to flights from New York to Scotland taking just two hours.
But the ability to fly five times the speed of sound may not appeal to all and those looking for a slower pace could enjoy the revival of huge airships decked out with mod-cons by 2069 for a super-comfortable trip around the globe.
The dirigible balloons might have to compete for airspace with flying taxis and rockets taking visitors on low orbit earth experiences through the Northern Lights from space ports at Prestwick in Ayrshire, Leuchars in Fife and Lossiemouth in Moray.
When it comes to food and drink, the study, which was published as Scottish Tourism Month kicks off, shows that Scotland’s larder should still be providing the world with delectable fare but with the population potentially including processed insect protein in their diets, midge haggis could be a highly desirable delicacy to visitors.
Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Tourism Insight Manager and author of the paper, said: “Scottish tourism has been a huge success story both economically and socially over the last 50 years and the aim of this research paper is to look at a potential future of tourism by examining the megatrends which may have influenced society by 2069.
“Developing a strategic foresight can help organisations embrace opportunities, challenge barriers and make sure we look to the future – which we can’t predict for certain but we can test our assumptions now to make better decisions for tomorrow.”