Funding for GPS-guided tours, cultural visitor experiences and a spiegeltent has been awarded in a bid to put Dundee firmly on the tourism map.
Five projects have been given a share of the Dundee Cultural Tourism Innovation Fund to use the city’s heritage in order to draw people into the city.
A Cultural Heritage Tours scheme will offer packages for attractions such as Verdant Works, HM Frigate Unicorn and RRS Discovery, while a walking tour entitled Behind the Scenes Dundee will guide visitors through independent shops, public art and creative studios.
Dundee Design Details will offer GPS-guided audio tours telling the stories of Dundee’s hidden and unusual design gems.
For the travel and tour operator sector, ‘A Day in Dundee’ visitor experience packages will be created by Dundee Rep and Dundee Science Centre to sell the city as a cultural destination.
Finally, the Rep and the Dundee Jazz Festival have been given funding to bring a spiegeltent — an enormous, portable tented performance venue — to Slessor Gardens in November.
Each of the projects had to demonstrate how and who they will target in order to gain the award.
News of the fund was welcomed by VisitScotland regional director Jim Clarkson, who said: “Tourism is leading economic transformation in Dundee with projects like the V&A bringing new opportunities to the whole region.
“I’m sure all the initiatives which have benefited from this funding will make a fantastic addition to the city’s expanding tourism offering.”
The thinking behind the fund was welcomed by Alick Bisset, managing director of travel group DP&L, who noted the multitude of hotel developments in the city.
He said: “Dundee will become a destination for tourism. You only have to look at the hotel offerings.
“Hoteliers have confidence. They wouldn’t build if they didn’t think they could sell the rooms, especially when the V&A comes around.”
Dundee City Council teamed up with Scottish Enterprise to develop the fund in a bid to boost the city’s offerings for visitors.
Councillor Will Dawson, convener of the One City, Many Discoveries campaign, said strong cultural attractions were “integral” to the city’s tourism prospects, the aim being for Dundee to be recognised as “the best up and coming city in the UK for cultural short breaks”.
Paul McCafferty, of Scottish Enterprise, said cultural tourism was one of the “fastest growing” sectors in the travel industry, and had a major part to play in Dundee’s future.
He said: “A strong cultural tourism proposition, drawing on Dundee’s range of cultural assets, independent restaurants, vibrant creative sector, and strong events and festivals programme will be key to attracting visitors over the coming years.”
A second round of funding for additional projects will begin in May.