Scenario planning as a tool to understand uncertainty in tourism: The example of transport and tourism in Scotland in 2025

S.J. Page, I. Yeoman, J. Connell, Chris Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the use of scenario planning as a methodology to help understand the future of tourism. It reports on the results of a scenario planning exercise undertaken in 2007 in Scotland by VisitScotland, the National Tourism Organisation for Scotland, which seeks to understand how transport might shape tourism in 2025. The study followed an established methodology used by the UK's Office for Science and Technology [OfST. (2006). Transport - intelligent futures project. London: Author.] and how it set out to understand what transport provision might look like in 2055. The methodology used by the OfST study was modified and expanded by this study with a series of in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders to understand what the key drivers of change in the transport sector were in 2007 and would be in 2025. This was followed by the construction of two scenarios designed to look at two extreme cases of how transport and tourism would be interconnected to shape the destination and ability to access different types of tourism product and experience. These scenarios were then introduced to a workshop setting with key industry stakeholders to assess the reliability and validity of the scenarios. The paper also draws out wider implications for academic research of using scenario analysis in tourism, so that the value of this methodology can be understood and used more widely in appropriate settings. The study has to be viewed against the current tourism strategy for Scotland - the Tourism Framework for Change. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-137
Number of pages39
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2010


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