How open top buses and social media influencers can boost Fife tourism

Open top tourist buses aren't new to Fife - here's s Mike Reid and the St Andrews Open Top Tour Bus in 2013
Open top tourist buses aren't new to Fife - here's s Mike Reid and the St Andrews Open Top Tour Bus in 2013

At the economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee, councillors approved a new ten year tourism plan.

The new campaign will help create a “sense of place” that visitors and Fifers can engage with, making the region a top tourist destination.

A new social media campaign will be launched with the help of influencers and vloggers to encourage people to visit the Kingdom.

Business and Employability manager Gordon Mole told the committee: “Tourism is a growing business in Fife – over 100 per cent growth in the last five years.

“But there is recognition that more needs to be done around recruitment skills activity, particularly moving to digital.”

The strategy also highlighted the opportunities across Fife to encourage more visits, particularly in and around events.

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And the addition of hop-on, hop-off tourist buses – regular features in cities across the UK – could be key to getting people round our towns and tourism landmarks.

Councillor John Beare said: “Despite living here 20 years I’m still finding some of its hidden corners.

“But on a Sunday morning, it’s practically impossible to get anywhere in Fife before 10am. Trying to ensure employees can get to a place of employment is really, really important.

“An open top, hop on hop off bus is something I never thought I’d see, but when you actually think about it, it does make good sense because of the offering, particularly around the coastal route.”

Cllr Beare hoped such a link could be used to make connectivity easier for Fifers as well as boosting the region’s tourist profile.

Ann Camus, tourism partnership manager for Fife, said: “The two are very much linked. People live in the west and a lot of tourism jobs are in the east.

“So how do we move people around? There are not buses at the right time for people going to work. The idea that if we created this service through the private sector it wouldn’t be viable if it was just picking people up and dropping them off for work – but it might be viable if, through the day it moved visitors as well.”

The initiative also aims to tap into the growing number of passengers arriving on huge cruise ships in to Edinburgh – and it wants to get Fife’s message out on social media via the channels influencers and vloggers.

Ms Camus said: “We’ve got really good traction on social media, but we need to do more to engage Fifers.

“It’s very clear that a lot of Fifers don’t know about the Welcome to Fife channels.”

Mr Mole added: “We have an increasing number of ambassadors in Fife who have become our mouthpieces.

“We are increasingly using bloggers to get the word out across Fife.”