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Textile Tourism : Market Research

Scottish Enterprise logo Scottish textiles are seen by many as an iconic part of Scotland, entwined with its culture, heritage and wild landscapes. However, in recent years the industry has experienced serious competition from overseas producers and a global propensity to purchase low cost products, which has led to significant job losses.

GVA RGA was commissioned by Scottish Enterprise Textiles Team to investigate the relationship between textiles and tourism in Scotland, to determine whether there was scope to improve development within the sector. The research sought to create Scotland’s first ‘textile tourist’ profile and audit all textile tourism attractions in Scotland, to identify gaps in supply and ultimately advise on opportunities.

GVA RGA set-up an on-line survey and from that was able to determine a market size, we estimated that approximately 50,000 visitors came to Scotland each year for textile touring purposes. The analysis went further, estimating the length of visit, the top activities undertaken while in Scotland, the seasonality of textile tourists, country of origin and their expenditure per person per night.

From the information gathered by the survey GVA RGA drew up four comprehensive recommendations for the sector. Broadly, these were: to address the quality of Scottish textiles and attractions, promote the ‘regional specialities’ of Scottish textiles, develop additional cross-sector collaborations improving communication with the public and marketing of what was on offer, and to encourage industry members to collect and share market intelligence. This project highlighted the value of quality market research, after all the more an industry knows about their customers, the better they can serve them.

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