Visit Dundee and crowdfunding

By | Category: Travel rumblings

That stalwart of Dundee, Desperate Dan, chest proudly thrust forward in his support of the city, might be wondering why more money wasn’t raised.

With a big splash, VisitDundee was launched in late March this year, as a new tourism venture to promote the city as a short break destination.

On the launch the Scottish minister responsible for tourism, Fiona Hyslop, praised the idea as did the local chamber of commerce, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.

The new body decided that it would raise funds by crowdfunding and launched a campaign to raise £20,000. This money would be used to encourage people to stay over in Dundee on short breaks thus bringing extra business to. Amongst others, hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and attractions The television personality, Lorrain Kelly and actor Brian Cox who were both born and bred in the city supported the crowdfunding opportunity.
When the crowdfunding exercise ended, the appeal – despite the high-level appeal and support – had raised just £2,590. On the crowdfunding site, this achievement was trumpeted as “We did it! On 23rd Apr 2018 we successfully raised £2,590 with 17 supporters in 32 days.” We raise double that in our village week for good causes in the locality and we only have 800 people!

On average each supporter had coughed up £152.35. Given that there are at least thirteen hotels in the city, a number of B&B’s and Visit Scotland say that there are 67 attractions in the city and nearby, the response seems a little underwhelming.

But why they should be so is not what I want to consider. What intrigues me is why the organisers decided that Visit Scotland which surely is responsible for attracting visitors is not up to the task? And since they considered it wasn’t, why should local authorities contribute to the funds of Visit Scotland? Why not keep a part of it to support this new marketing initiative? But having decided to set up a new body, is this not likely to lead to a duplication in effort meaning that money that could have been spent attracting visitors was being wasted? And if it is successful will Visit Scotland decide to spend less on promoting Dundee because it can see that it doesn’t need to as another organisation is effective?

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