This project analyses the system-wide economic impact of policies aimed at developing sustainable tourism in Scotland, one of the Scottish Government’s “growth sectors”. Past studies using economic models to assess the impact of tourism spending have often relied on disparate statistics and ‘off-the-shelf’ modelling techniques and therefore failed to fully capture the complexity of supply and demand of touristic activities.
This project reconciles definitions of tourism in the data and develops a tourism-specific large scale economic model to capture the role of tourism in Scotland’s economy. The project sheds light on the interaction between tourism and the rest of the economy, while the model’s features realistically capture current issues in tourism, specifically overtourism and tourism-specific supply constraints.
The outcomes will improve understanding of the economic characteristics of tourism in Scotland and of regional tourism in the literature. In addition, it will produce economic datasets reconciling demand-and supply-side perspectives on the sector and develop an academically novel tourism-specific treatment within an economic model of Scotland.
Developed in collaboration with – and with joint supervision from – VisitScotland, the project outputs will be of maximum relevance for the sector. This supervisory arrangement means that the project will incorporate the latest understanding of Scotland’s tourism economy, in addition to its clear academic contributions.
The academic supervisors have technical expertise in economic data, modelling and economic analysis of tourism. This ensures successful development of the student’s skills through this work, and the production of robust, transparent and academically important output.
Additionally, the team is based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, home of the Fraser of Allander Institute, which is a leading impartial economic research institute and has a supportive culture for policy relevant applied research, high impact dissemination channels and an international reputation in economic modelling.