It has been one of the hardest years for tourism and hospitality businesses in living memory, writes Caroline Warburton of VisitScotland.
The announcement that the Eden Project has signed an agreement for a preferred site in Dundee is a heartening reminder of the valuable role which tourism and the visitor economy can play in helping Dundee and the region to recover.
Dundee continues to punch above its weight in attracting new and innovative investments to the city.
The V&A Dundee demonstrated how bringing a world class attraction could not only help to support the city’s ambitious regeneration plans but has also showcased Dundee and the region to a new global audience.
The Eden Project Dundee will undoubtedly bring further jobs and opportunities to the city, as well as some much needed optimism for the tourism sector who are climbing out of an incredibly difficult situation.
Partnership in action
Collaboration will be a key part of maximising the project’s success, and the impact of this was demonstrated by the tremendous partnership effort around the opening of V&A Dundee and which continues to this day.
By working together the city’s tourism industry can capitalise on this unique opportunity and continue to put Dundee on the map.
It is rare that a destination gets two big bites of the proverbial cherry within a matter of years but this cements Dundee’s reputation as a leading tourism destination.
At VisitScotland we are certainly looking forward to playing our role, together with our tourism partners, to inspire visitors to stay longer in the city, visit surrounding areas and spend more.
These incredible first-look pictures will whet the appetite of visitors and locals alike, and the details announced show the care and consideration the Eden Project is taking to recognise and reflect Dundee’s history, its present and it future.
The preferred site at the former Dundee Gasworks within the city’s waterfront will not only regenerate a brownfield site, but will also support the redevelopment of another part of the city centre.
And with excellent links by public transport, foot or bicycle the attraction will help move visitors, and their spend, around the city.
This is a project that will not only have Dundee as its home but the city’s great character and flair at its heart.
Covid-19 has made people think about the future, our economic landscape and the need to protect our natural resources
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the project is how it will complement work already underway to make Scotland a more sustainable destination.
Dundee is a city that is taking climate change seriously and the project’s goal to help people understand their connection with the natural world fits well with this agenda and also links well to other attractions in the city, such as Discovery Point.
Covid-19 has made people pause and think about the future, our economic landscape and the need to protect our natural resources.
Driving force for city
Today’s announcement is a reminder that if managed responsibly, tourism and the visitor economy can help support communities, create jobs and improve our wellbeing.
I’m hopeful that the arrival the Eden Project Dundee in the coming years can do all these things, as well as act as a driving force for the city and the wider Tay region as we navigate our way back to success.
I for one am looking forward to working with partners, stakeholders and businesses within the Tay region to capitalise on this exciting opportunity.
Caroline Warburton is VisitScotland regional leadership director for Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth & Kinross.
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