The V&A comes to Dundee
“V&A is known internationally as the world’s leading museum of art and design. It operates from its base in London around the world and soon Dundee will have the only other V&A museum in the world’ Philip Long, Director of the V&A Dundee.
A great statement and one to be proud of but what does this ACTUALLY mean for accommodation providers in Dundee and Angus.
Let’s have a look at how the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao affected the city. Bilbao was a decaying industrial city with 25% unemployment rate and a poor public transport system. Today Bilbao is firmly placed on the map, being seen as the city to emulate and aspire to. Now attracting 800,000 overnight stays per year compared to 100,000 before the opening of the Guggenheim museum – figures that cannot be argued with.
So will this be repeated in Dundee? We will have the only V&A museum outside London and there will be no other in the world. Initially this will undoubtedly increase the numbers of visitors to Dundee. The second question is can this level be retained and built upon? Bibao’s success is not so much as a tourism destination but its popularity now as a business tourism destination which automatically leads to an increase in overnight stays and spending within the economy.
Dundee has the basis to build such a business tourism industry with its strong industry sectors such as computer games, life sciences and education. The transport links to and from the city have been significantly improved with the new international link to Amsterdam, opening up Dundee to the worldwide market via Schiphol as well as the opportunity to develop the service through the new rail operator Abellio.
What do the accommodation providers of Dundee and Angus need to do to get ready for the influx?
Customer experience is key – this is our one chance to let the world see the genuine hospitality of this region of Scotland, showing each visitor what a unique area it is from its golf courses, castles, museums, beaches, glens, lochs, local produce and wildlife to name but a few.
Let’s be proud and shout it from the roof tops as DAVAA! With one voice we can make much more noise and have lots more impact.