Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 27th June 2021

In Alistair's Mini Bite below you'll find information on Alistair Danter's work as Project Manager for SkyeConnect.

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Mini Bite w/e 26th June

A frost on the summer solstice, a football match ending in a draw that was celebrated as a win, a Tory Westminster MP defects to Labour and after 6 years the Edinbane Community Company has managed to negotiate (and enact!) the transfer of the community recycling bins from the village centre to the forecourt of the recently community-purchased shop ……another month of firsts!

Here are a few snippets from SkyeConnect HQ:

Quick Skip

Shop online at Skye Weavers - Inspired by Skye. Woven by pedal power. Scottish island tweed and textiles in natural woollen yarns.

Hotel & Restaurant Jobs

A Hotels and restaurant sector meeting with the Job Centre, West Highland College and DYW (Developing the Youth Workforce) project discussed issues around employment. Staffing is proving the biggest bone of contention for the Hospitality industry as we try to reopen. Key takeaways from the meeting included:

  • Those looking for work and those recruiting are using a wide range of channels and for a, the two sides are ‘missing’ each other in many cases. The meeting recommended where possible that businesses promote all their vacancies via the Job Centre, details should be sent directly to Hamilton Treasa JCP TREASA.HAMILTON1@DWP.GOV.UK
  • Existing employees should be encouraged to recommend and refer potential employees
  • Local businesses are encouraged to contact our local DYW coordinator Claudia Pech   claudia.pech@lochaberchamber.co.uk While this will not solve the immediate problems, the industry has to look at long term solutions and grow our own workforce
  • Opportunities exist via the West Highland college to take on apprentices with the support of West Highland College
  • We will develop a local campaign to promote careers in the hospitality industry, including promotion of the Living Wage Charter.
Building a Sustainable Future for Skye Video

Ahead of some important consultation with local businesses on marketing and promotional matters, SkyeConnect has released a video stating what we believe to be the key issues facing Skye and Raasay. 

We will be contacting individual businesses in the coming weeks to discuss matters related to our work and the promotion of Skye & Raasay + hope that you will feel able to respond to questions on the call which should take no longer than 10 minutes.

You can view this video here. 

“Post Covid – the basics” marketing training workshop

VisitScotland and SkyeConnect’s website manager David MacDonald presented a “Post Covid – the basics” marketing training workshop on-line. Members of SkyeConnect can receive a free website and social marketing review of the own business platforms from David. Following the workshop we received the following report / stats from VisitScotland.com – 

VisitScotland.com website stats for 1 May to 22 June 2021 – In general, 79% of website visits at the moment come from UK users. This is even higher, 82%, when we look at sessions where users looked for Skye related content. It seems right now, domestic visitors are the main audience for the region. This makes sense with the current travel restrictions as many countries are either on the red or amber list, making travelling more difficult and expensive for international visitors. 

Listings on the Visitscotland.com site are free, so make sure your business is on the site, Alan Mackenzie our local VisitScotland Business Manager is on hand to help with registrations Alan.Mackenzie2@visitscotland.com

HC Ranger Service

We are now meeting on a regular basis with the HC Ranger Service and other regional DMOs. The 3 Skye Rangers have a regular programme of weekly patrols, they are happy to receive contacts from individuals or communities if there are visitor management issues in particular areas. Problems can be recorded on the Highland Council website at https://www.highland.gov.uk/report

Guidance on International Bookings

Taking bookings – we have had a number of communications from operators who have concerns regarding bookings / enquiries that are received from guests that at a glance may not be UK residents or may require to have self-isolated prior to a visit. Details of current travel restrictions within the UK can be seen at

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/ If you are responding to guests and you are unsure of their status / residency situation please take care to respond with diplomatic language and consider the following:

  • UK residents may not be UK nationals, if they comply with covid protocols and are not resident in any of the restricted travel zones (see below) they are perfectly entitled to visit.
  • UK residents that are not UK nationals may have vehicle number plates that reflect a non-UK country.
  • Foreign students may be studying and resident in the UK
  • Payments for booked accommodation may be made from non-UK bank accounts
  • The management of those required to self-isolate upon entering the country is predominantly a public health matter dealt with by Public Health Scotland – https://publichealthscotland.scot/our-areas-of-work/covid-19/
  • If you receive a booking / enquiry from a guest whom you believe is non-UK resident you are entitled to check that they will have self-isolated before staying with you.
  • You are under no obligation to accept bookings.
Unhelpful Potential reduction in the number of elected members for Skye & Raasay

Reports in the local press have indicated that the Boundary commission are recommending a reduction in the number of elected members for Skye & Raasay. In light of the fact that we have a resident population of + / – 12,000 and a visitor population (in normal times) of + / – 750,000 SkyeConnect believe that this reduction is unacceptable. The matter is to be put before the Scottish Government. We are urging individuals and businesses to raise this matter with our MSP – Kate Forbes kate.forbes.msp@parliament.scot

Guidance on International Bookings

Taking bookings – we have had a number of communications from operators who have concerns regarding bookings / enquiries that are received from guests that at a glance may not be UK residents or may require to have self-isolated prior to a visit. Details of current travel restrictions within the UK can be seen at

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/ If you are responding to guests and you are unsure of their status / residency situation please take care to respond with diplomatic language and consider the following:

  • UK residents may not be UK nationals, if they comply with covid protocols and are not resident in any of the restricted travel zones (see below) they are perfectly entitled to visit.
  • UK residents that are not UK nationals may have vehicle number plates that reflect a non-UK country.
  • Foreign students may be studying and resident in the UK
  • Payments for booked accommodation may be made from non-UK bank accounts
  • The management of those required to self-isolate upon entering the country is predominantly a public health matter dealt with by Public Health Scotland – https://publichealthscotland.scot/our-areas-of-work/covid-19/
  • If you receive a booking / enquiry from a guest whom you believe is non-UK resident you are entitled to check that they will have self-isolated before staying with you.
  • You are under no obligation to accept bookings.
Short Term Lets Licencing Order

The matter of Short Term lets has come back onto the legislative scene with the Short Term lets licencing order to be laid before parliament by the end of June – full details can be seen at https://bit.ly/369C4D3

SkyeConnect will endeavour to keep local operators informed regarding the matter in the coming weeks.

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