Digital Tourism – Tapping into Mega Trends

Scottish Enterprise identifies four key 'megatrends' for the tourism industry to harness

Our Digital Tourism services offers implementation of the latest insights and best practices for growing Scotland’s tourism industry, such as this report from Scottish Enterprise on the ‘megatrends’ for the sector.


The research identified four key megatrends –

  • ‘Experience More’ trend focuses on responding to tourist demands for genuine experiences that ‘get below the surface’ of a place. The report suggests that by building upon existing strengths in food and drink, heritage, landscape, cultural festivals and people, for example, by nurturing artisan food producers and raising standards, tourists’ experiences can be made richer, more personalised and more resonant.
  • The Limitless Discoveries megatrend is underpinned by the principle of making the sum part of a country destination far more compelling than only one or two cities or famous landmarks. The aim is to encourage visitors to learn more, to do more, to travel further afield and to stay for longer. This relies heavily upon having suitable transport and digital infrastructure in place.
  • The Evolving Traveller seeks to respond to demographic and social shifts – including a large ageing, high spending demographic, especially from Europe and the United States, more disabled visitors, and increasingly more visitors originating from China, India and South East Asia. Ensuring the accessibility of destinations for older travellers and those who face mobility or other physical challenges is an important consideration for this trend.
  • The Technology to Stimulate megatrend focuses on creating a deeper and richer tourist experience within a location through technology. It notes that tech investments were found to improve productivity, leading to stronger visitor experiences and better visitor management.


  • promoting neighbourhoods in cities so visitors can live like locals, drawing on examples such as Berlin, Barcelona, and Amsterdam;
  • developing and marketing adventure activities as joined up experiences around learning new skills, history, stories, culture and music;
  • involving local residents as creators, maintainers and, major influencers of visitor experiences utilising social media, apps and other technologies; using key-driver data analytics to obtain richer insights into the visitor experience;
  • supporting travellers to make a smooth transition from city to city and city to countryside and coast with smart itineraries and joined up experiences, instant booking facilities across multiple kinds of transport and reliable, eco-transport connections;
  • further expanding on scenic routes around cultural, historical, seasonal and wilderness themes; establishing a series of robust and transparent indicators to define when a major destination becomes ‘out of balance’, including the straining of everyday resources like public transport and road, parking, and waste bins;
  • ensuring the accessibility of destinations for older travellers and those who face mobility or other physical challenges;
  • facilitating open data sharing and developing sophisticated visitor analytics to help predict future tourist volumes; creating more positions for digital analytics and data scientists/engineers within national tourist organisations; and establishing bespoke dashboards, planning tools and booking platforms focused on supporting small tourist businesses.

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