Tourism in Fife has continued to blossom throughout 2017, as the Kingdom welcomed more than eight million visitors to the region with tourism revenues remaining strong year on year.
New figures have shown that since 2008 there has been a four per cent increase annually in spending to reach £56 million over this nine-year period.
Worth around £570 million to the Scottish economy, Fife’s tourism supports 11,000 jobs to businesses in the area with expenditure increasing annually by four percent over the last nine years, weathering the impact of the recession and changes to the economic climate.
The region’s annual tourism conference recently attracted industry experts from across the country including Justin Reid, head of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at TripAdvisor. Reid shared the latest statistics that more than five million people had searched for Fife on TripAdvisor in the last two years with USA, Germany, France and Canada among the top markets viewing Fife.
This year has also seen Fife enter the top five most ‘instagrammed’ regions in the UK, with digital influencers travelling from across the globe to capture the Kingdom’s award-winning beaches and picturesque coastline along Fife Coastal Path, to share with thousands of international online and social media followers. Yorkshire was the most popular with over 3.8 million posts but 80 percent of the most instagrammed regions were in Scotland.
Fife was also awarded WorldHost Customer Service Destination status earlier in 2017, with more than 100 local businesses opting to put at least 50 percent of their customer facing staff through training to achieve a top level of customer service.
With such a high level of customer service, it came as no surprise that Fife businesses shone at the recent Scottish Thistle Awards for tourism, with accolades for Crail Food Festival, Cruise Forth, The Boudingait in Cupar and The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry.
East Neuk Festival was also awarded the highly prestigious RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Music Award for Audiences and Engagement earlier in the year.
Commenting on upcoming plans for the next year, Alistair Bruce, chairman of Fife Tourism Partnership, said: “2018 is an exciting year for Fife, especially celebrating the Year of Young People. We’ll be developing augmented and virtual reality experiences around Fife’s rich history and continuing to encourage businesses to get behind the World Host initiative.”
Ann Camus, Fife Tourism Partnership manager, said: “Most importantly for the tourism industry in 2018, we will be reviewing on the Fife Tourism Strategy so that we can work with tourism businesses across the Kingdom to ensure we continue to provide visitors with excellent experiences that will ultimately ensure Fife continues to grow its tourism revenue and reputation as a great place to visit.
“Fife is continuing to buck the trend in the tourism industry, and the latest figures revealed at the recent conference demonstrate just how popular Fife is as a destination for national, international and local visitors.”