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Building tourism in Dundee & Angus

Press Release   •   Oct 26, 2016 11:47 BST

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead visited the construction site of V&A Dundee yesterday (25 October) as part of a special ‘Listening Tour’ organised by the national tourism organisation.

Building on the success of the 2015 Chief Executive Listening Tour, Mr Roughead met with future tourism leaders from across Dundee and Angus, speaking directly to emerging talent in the industry while making lasting connections and forging new partnerships in the area.

Mr Roughead started his tour of the region at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, hearing about the work taking place at the former residence of artist Patrick Allan-Fraser.

The historic mansion is currently in the process of a multi-million development which aims to transform the attraction into a key cultural hub for Angus and beyond, drawing on international links and an exceptional cultural heritage.

Hospitalfield also served up a chance to speak directly with some of the area’s entrepreneurs and innovative tourism figures at a roundtable discussion before a lunch meeting with Richard Ellison, Chair of the Dundee and Angus Visitor Accommodation Association and Alison Smith, Service Manager, Economic Development, Angus Council, at The Townhouse Hotel. Malcolm concluded his Arbroath trip with a visit to the town’s iCentre at Arbroath Harbour.

V&A Dundee, the final stop of the day, offered an opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the construction of the Kengo Kuma design as it begins to take shape. Set to open in 2018, V&A Dundee is the focal point of the £1 billion redevelopment of Dundee’s Waterfront.

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee will be a new world-class attraction, attracting tourists nationally and internationally to the city and the surrounding region.

“As the only V&A in the world outside London, and the only design museum in Scotland, we will help showcase Tayside as a visitor destination and support the region’s many established visitor attractions and emerging tourism businesses.

“We’re delighted to be working with VisitScotland on developing Dundee’s potential to be a major tourist destination, and to share the progress on the construction of the museum ahead of opening in 2018.”

Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield, said: “Cultural organisations such as Hospitalfield in Arbroath play a vital role in supporting the development of the infrastructure for tourism in Angus and across the region.

“Hospitalfield is a beautiful location and a natural host for events such as the Listening Tour, and we are happy that Malcolm and the VisitScotland team chose to meet with industry and to hear of the innovation happening locally here at Hospitalfield.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Tourism is leading economic transformation in Dundee and Angus with projects like V&A Dundee bringing new opportunities to the region.

“It is fantastic to get the chance to witness these projects first hand and discuss, with industry pioneers from across the region, how we can capitalise on the wealth of opportunities offered by each.”

“If we are to continue to compete in a competitive global market, the industry needs to embrace new technology, innovation and new ways of working –Dundee and Angus are very much at the forefront of this.”

Malcolm Roughead is visiting a number of locations across Scotland as part of his national tour. A similar event last year saw him convene 13 meetings around the country, engaging with some 200 industry influencers.

The latest series of Chief Executive Listening Tour meetings gives tourism organisations and businesses access and opportunity, to speak directly to Mr Roughead. This year’s meetings focus on emerging tourism industry leaders and younger tourism business owners, operators and influencers.

The tourism industry in Dundee and Angus supports over 7,100 jobs in the area and in 2014 generated £105 million in visitor spend.

Full list of businesses that attended roundtable discussion at Hospitalfield House with Malcolm Roughead:

  • Scott Byrne, General Manager, Hospitalfield House
  • Gary Hume, Rooms Division Manager, Double Tree Dundee
  • Hannah Kemlo, Meeting & Events Manager, Double Tree Dundee
  • Tom Watton, Producer & Project Manager, Vision Mechanics
  • Louise Murphy, Owner of Dark Dundee
  • Stewart Heaton, Owner of Dark Dundee
  • Anna Day, Manager at UNESCO, Dundee City of Design

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016