Still room for tourist of­fices

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FEATURES -

Is VisitScot­land plough­ing a sim­i­lar fur­row to many banks by clos­ing lo­cal branches un­der pres­sure from a rise in dig­i­tal users? Banks have been crit­i­cised for dam­ag­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties by pulling out. A fa­mil­iar ac­cu­sa­tion is that they are try­ing to drive more peo­ple into in­ter­net bank­ing to make life eas­ier and cheaper for them­selves, rather than re­act­ing to web use. It is a con­tested view, of course, but what is VisitScot­land up to af­ter an­nounc­ing that it is slash­ing tourist of­fices from 65 to 26 – many of which are in the High­lands and Grampian? The facts seem to sup­port their case: tourist of­fice foot­fall has dropped 60% over the past 10 years, ac­cord­ing to VisitScot­land, whereas dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion­seek­ing has grown by a sim­i­lar amount. Is it as sim­ple as that? Re­mote im­per­sonal brows­ing is one thing, but do vis­i­tors on the ground re­quire a dif­fer­ent ser­vice? A wider and more per­son­alised ap­proach – with help­ful and re­as­sur­ing ad­vice from a friendly, ex­pe­ri­enced per­son face-to-face.

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