A six-month inquiry into Scottish tourism has concluded that VisitScotland’s “current business model is patently flawed and obsolete” and consumer website requires an entirely new focus.

The Scottish Parliament’s ‘Economy, Energy and Tourism Report’ took as its starting point the issue of whether Scotland can deliver its previously announced target of increasing tourism revenues by 50% by 2015, using 2005 as the base.

“Tourism is increasingly about technology,” the report said. ‘It is the booking medium and the favoured information channel. It is immediate, comparative and unforgiving.”

Specifically, the committee felt that visitscotland.com would operate more effectively as an information portal.

“We want to see a move towards a top-quality, national, web-based portal that provides all the necessary information and advice on Scotland.

This website should then contain a full listing of quality-assured businesses with a link to a means of contact (electronic if possible).

“Such businesses should then be offered free software and training to enable them to design their own websites, provide online booking etc.”

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