Hit TV series Outlander and Netflix film Outlaw King helping bring 8.3m visitors to Fife, contributing £588 million to the economy.
This three per cent increase in value from £570 million is thanks to national, local and international visitors from all over the world, and has generated tourism related employment for over 12,000 people in Fife (an increase of 1000 from the previous year).
The hit TV series Outlander continues to draw significant numbers of visitors to the Kingdom, while Dunfermline Abbey cemented its place in international film history being featured in Netflix’s popular 14th century Scotland drama, Outlaw King, which follows the journey of Robert the Bruce.
Some of this success has been realised by the interest in Fife as a tourist destination on a digital scale. The Welcome to Fife website has grown its interaction from 130,000 sessions in 2017 to 270,000 by December 2018.
Social media activity has also increased, with Instagram growing from 87,000 likes to 267,000 in the same period.
An increased demand for visitor activity recommendations led to a series of popular Fife Five videos which showcased hotspots in different areas, reaching an online audience of over seven million (1.5m in France and Germany alone).
Founded in 2010 by Ann Camus, Fife Tourism Partnership (FTP) has been responsible for developing innovative methods of bringing tourism to the area, while generating and nurturing new and existing relationships with public sector bodies.
Camus was recognised in Women in Tourism’s Top 100 for her outstanding contributions to tourism in the Kingdom, along with six other Fife nominees. She continues to drive economic growth and enhance visitor experience across the region.
And 2018 also marked the beginning of work on an exciting augmented reality app which will allow visitors to trace the steps of historic royals in the Heartlands of the Kingdom of Fife.
The project, In the Footsteps of Kings, will bring the area’s rich royal history to life through augmented reality allowing visitors of all ages to interact with characters and take part in activities at each location. The project received £90,000 funding as part of a grant from Scottish Enterprise to enhance visitor experiences across the region and is expected to generate significant return to the area.
Events also bring £18 million to Fife’s economy each year, with more than 200,000 people attending events across the region annually. Fife Tourism Partnership and Fife Council collaborated earlier in 2018 to launch a free toolkit for event organisers across the Kingdom, which provides advice and best practice on delivering events and festivals.
Events Fund Guidelines were also created, providing advice for organisers targeting external audiences looking to secure up to £10,000 of funding for larger scale events.
Fife Tourism Partnership manager Ann Camus said: ‘Fife’s tourism continues to thrive, which is fantastic to see in such an uncertain economic climate. We have always taken a collaborative approach to the region’s tourism offering and this year has been no exception.
‘Local businesses are at the heart of what we do, which is why we value their contributions to Fife’s Tourism and Events Strategy to highlight future priorities and growth trajectory.
‘There is a clear appetite for visitors coming to Fife as a tourist destination further marked by a 76% increase of users to welcometofife.com, coupled with reaching over eight million people internationally through our Fife Five campaign in partnership with VisitScotland. We endeavour to make Fife accessible to everyone and have worked hard to improve facilities over the last year.
‘We have plenty to be excited about over the coming months, and I am confident it will be well received by local, national and international visitors to continue developing and growing Fife’s prosperous tourism industry.’