Harnessing the internet has been identified as they key to building the vital tourism industry within Perth and Kinross.
The key economic sector now generates over £400 million for the region each year and its continued growth is seen as critical to the economy.
Progress is being made, with VisitScotland reporting the region had enjoyed a “bumper” 2016, with many top attractions being visited by record audiences.
Perth and Kinross Council believes there remain scope for improvement through the internet. There are hopes improving the digital presence of Perth’s tourism businesses could increase visitors to the area by 20% by 2023.
Efforts to harness that potential have seen 65 businesses across the region attend workshops during 2016, each aimed at improving their digital skills.
The hope is that by improving the way local businesses present and promote themselves online, they can move online visitors from “looking” to “booking”.
The workshops have offered lessons in search engine optimisation and digital marketing and have also helped businesses understand how to “get the best” out of platforms like Trip Advisor.
They were delivered by Digital Tourism Scotland (DTS), a £1.2m partnership programme to help tourism businesses across Scotland improve their digital skills to capitalise on the business opportunities new digital technology offers.
The council’s enterprise and infrastructure convener Councillor John Kellas said: “It is promising to see so many Perthshire businesses improving their digital skills and developing in this area through this partnership.
“Refining these important skills is vital to driving visitors to our destination in an increasingly digital world and boosting the customer’s experience and investment into the local economy.”
Perth Racecourse’s Katy Webster was among those who attended the workshops and said they had helped make the topic seem less “overwhelming” to many.
“All attendees varied in abilities but we all had the same goals essentially, to drive traffic to our websites and be as customer friendly as possible,” she said.
During 2016, tourism in Perth and Kinross was boosted by a selection of top one-off and recurring events.
The stunning Weeping Window display, hosted by The Black Watch Castle and Museum, drew more than 113,000 people, while the Enchanted Forest saw a record 70,000 visitors enjoy the annual sound and light show.
More than 30,000 music fans enjoyed some of the 80s finest live acts at Rewind, held at Scone Palace.
For more information about Digital Tourism Scotland workshops and opportunities in Perth and Kinross, email firstname.lastname@example.org.