Caroline Warburton, Regional Leadership Director of VisitScotland, discusses how The 150th Open in St. Andrews supported the local tourism industry in Fife: 

Tourism businesses and operators across Fife are experiencing their first full season without restrictions since 2019.   

It has been fantastic to see businesses fully open once more, visitors returning across the region and Fife residents continuing to support the recovery of their local tourism industry.    

Despite new challenges, the outlook is looking more positive than it has been and we remain committed to working closely with partners and the tourism industry to rebuild this vital part of Fife’s economy.   

Our marketing partnership with Welcome to Fife, two new campaigns by Fife Golf Partnership and Food from Fife funded through our Destination and Sector Marketing Fund, plus our own UK and international activity are helping to ensure our region is front of mind when visitors are choosing a destination.   

Fife will continue to be in the spotlight this summer boosted by the exposure which The 150th Open in St Andrews will bring and buoyed up with news of Scotland’s newest city Dunfermline and host of the iconic Scottish artist Jack Vettriano exhibition at Kirkcaldy Galleries.   

It has been encouraging to see the return of international visitors to the region from North America and Europe. One of our key priorities at VisitScotland has been to rebuild international demand through our marketing, PR and travel trade activity, and it was pleasing to see a number of Fife businesses attending our Discover Scotland event in April which featured over 300 international trade buyers.   

Another welcome sight has been the return of events, providing that buzz and social interaction we have all missed so much. From events celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories including StAnza Scotland’s International Poetry Festival and Tales o’ the Toon to the return of local favourites including Crail Food Festival, Inverkeithing Highland Games and The Fife Show, which we have been able to support through our EventScotland funding streams.  

Meanwhile The 150th Open in St Andrews last week attended by 290,000 spectators provided a welcome boost for tourism businesses and the wider economy. Broadcast worldwide to an audience of millions, it is hoped this global exposure will inspire future trips to the region.    

All of our activity is hand-in-hand with that of our partners. We work closely with the Fife Council team who manage Welcome to Fife to ensure maximum reach for both organisations’ content. We have supported OnFife with promotion of their Jack Vettriano exhibition at Kirkcaldy Galleries as well as St Andrews Links Trust with their Big Bag Trail in the lead up to The 150th Open. We also continue to support the Fife Tourism Partnership, local tourism associations and Dunfermline Heritage Partnership. It’s all part of ensuring Fife offers the best tourism experience it can to visitors.  

The impact of tourism and events spreads far beyond the industry itself – it benefits our economy, our community and our wellbeing.   

Here’s to a successful summer season across the Kingdom of Fife.  

Source: VisitScotland