Friday, November 7, 2008

The following statement has been issued by VisitScotland:

"Today we announced that VisitScotland has reached agreement to bring the national tourism website back into public ownership. The website, which attracted over 11 million visits in 2007 and has delivered over £65 million in bookings since it was launched, will be brought under the direct control of VisitScotland in a move to allow it to adapt more flexibly to changing consumer trends and tourism industry needs. The changes will also give VisitScotland more flexibility to assist businesses and to respond to the current economic downturn.

As technology advances needs to respond to those changes and be able to work with market leaders to deliver a high-quality website that can change and develop quickly. Changing internet usage and developing consumer trends have meant that the original model developed over six years ago—that of a ‘one-stop shop’ that meets all the customer needs for information, booking and sales—now needs to evolve to ensure that remains able to fulfil the needs of the Scottish tourism industry in the 21st century.

Following discussions with its partners in the joint venture – Tiscover, Partnerships UK and Atos Origin – VisitScotland has reached agreement on the terms of a deal to take control of the operation. VisitScotland is currently working with the partners to ensure a smooth transition. VisitScotland is committed to ensuring continuity and stability throughout the changes and we will engage fully with staff. The website will continue to operate as usual, tourism businesses and consumers will see no immediate change, although the website will continue to evolve and develop over time.

Further information on the changes announced today is contained in the attached briefing document. If you have any questions on any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch."

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