LONDON – 05:14 GMT, 18 Sept. 2014. BBC Breaking News predicts the ‘NO’ vote wins in the Scotland bid for independence from the United Kingdom.
Pack away the tartan kilt, pull the trousers back on. The political union that’s lasted 307 years stands.
Rest assured that HM Queen Elizabeth II shall breathe easier at Balmoral as her next celebratory milestone looms as the longest-serving sovereign in the 1,000 year history of the British monarchy as of September 10, 2015.
That leads us to the main point of this essay. Putting aside for now the debate points on North Sea oil reserves, the Scottish National Party, public expenditure, NATO, EU and the Labour Party, most believe we have one clear winner: tourism.
Scotland’s lucrative tourism industry employs about 200,000 in an industry worth $18 billion, attracting 2.5 million international visitors and growing ahead of other sectors. What’s on offer? A rich history, stunning windswept landscapes, whiskey and tartans, the Scottish Crown Jewels at the Palace of Holyrood, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, JK Rowling…
Granted, there might have been a curiosity factor spurt in tourism had the vote gone the other way. Certainly, whatever gains would have been short-lived and likely offset by a drop in English border crossings, by all accounts.
Questions about currency exchange, border regulations, visas, passports, insurance and more were placed on the back burner these past six months. Academics hypothesized. Survey results were dissected. And, then it was left for 4.2 million Scottish voters aged 16-plus to decide the fate of the U.K.
With a sigh of relief, tourism officials will not be calling an emergency meeting in the morning. While aging European monarchs from the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain called it quits in 2014, few believe that a spry Elizabeth II, now age 88, is steering that course. Instead, they shall carry on with the party countdown.
So, VisitBritain.com remains Great Britain…and we’re all invited for the 2015 celebration. Book early.
Although somewhat younger than the United Kingdom, Coyle Hospitality Group (founded 1996) is a market leader engaged by hotels and restaurants on both sides of Hadrian’s Wall to provide valuable insights for maximizing performance.