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Moment of youth

Press Release   •   Dec 14, 2015 10:44 GMT

Scottish tourism businesses are being urged to recognise the importance of the youth market in the coming months, following today’s publication of a new trends paper by VisitScotland.

Produced by the national tourism organisation’s Insight department, Trends for 2016 highlights #Travennial-generation: Recognising the Importance of Youth as one of seven key consumer developments for hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and other tourism businesses should consider over the next year.

Aside from the over-65s, 16 to 24-year-olds stay longer in Scotland during January-March than any other domestic demographic, so businesses are being urged to think about appealing to younger visitors during the off-season, with Trends for 2016 highlighting the fact that the youth market seeks quality for good value.

The paper also focuses on the young at heart, with The Return of the Original Trendsetters inviting businesses to help the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) to rediscover their youthful exuberance by offering pursuits normally associated with younger visitors.

Other trends for 2016 are:

  • Honesthicity (Honest Authenticity): Your Authenticity May Not be Mine – To capitalise on the honesthicity trend, businesses are being encouraged to shout about unique products, such as local ales, regional dishes or farmers markets, in their area. 
  • Emotiveography: The Emotion of an Image – Taking advantage of the popularity of geotagging photographs via the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tourism businesses are encouraged to offer or promote walking tours in the surrounding area which provide good photo opportunities. This could create photogenic hotspots which consumers can use to boost their online profile, while also promoting local tourism.
  • Life under the Micro Lens: Adaptable Products for a Flexible Life – Micro products such as breweries, hotels, adventures and pop-up shops can feel more personal to the consumer.
  • Overpersonalisation/Digital Presence Empathy: Protecting the Joy of Genuine Discovery – Awareness that consumers are becoming attuned to oversaturation in focused marketing. Businesses are urged to be smart about their personalised marketing to ensure they retain consumers’ interest in the brand.
  • Seeking Famili-ference: Escapism that isn’t a World Away – Make visitors aware of opportunities for escapism without travelling great distances. For example, taking a trip on the Borders Railway.

Chris Greenwood, Senior Tourism Insight Manager at VisitScotland, said:

“The tourism and hospitality sectors are increasingly sensitive to consumer trends and economic conditions, so having an informed outlook is vital. By analysing and identifying trends, we are able to offer valuable advice to Scotland’s tourism industry, ensuring they are in the best possible position to welcome visitors from all over the world.”

To view Trends in 2016, go to:

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.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • 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)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit