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January 25, 2021
Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 25th Jan 2021
Here are a few of the issues occupying SkyeConnect’s time at the start of the year...
Welcome to the first ‘mini bite’ of 2021! Christmas and Hogmanay already seem a distant memory and the contradictory situation of an unrelenting workload and a lockdown seems to be affecting a lot of us in the Tourism Industry…….Home schooling also adds to the challenges for many.
Scottish Government’s Short-term Lets Legislation
The Scottish Government’s Short term Lets legislation is due for consideration by the Local Government and Communities Committee Next week, 3rd February.
We hosted a webinar on the 14th January attended by 75 businesses and hosted by Fiona Campbell of the ASSC and David Weston of the B&B Association. A recording of the event is available to view here – Running time 46m
Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write to MSP’s, the Committee and the Scottish Government. This is an important issue for our sector and we will keep you updated.
On the 12th January we attended the STA (Scottish Tourism Alliance) quarterly forum
Key issues discussed and raised included:
- Future long term business support should consider adapting the furlough scheme model to cover 80% of business costs rather than the current mix of furlough covering salaries and periodic sector grant systems
- “Bounced Bookings” from 2020 for non-domestic guests in the early part of the season have to be considered as being under threat
- Clarity on inbound air-travelling visitor requirements are required urgently. The current situation is confused, with a mix of potential policies decisions including vaccination certificates, testing on arrival / before departure, isolation on arrival, airline responsibilities, and destination airport reception facilities / processes
- STA has stressed the need for clarity with politicians in relation to funding announcements. When interpreting announcements businesses should be aware that there are in effect 2 types of announcements:
- A general funding announcement as a lump sum
- A sector specific grant fund with a specific amount of money
- STA has requested that politicians only make announcements once the mechanics of distribution are in place and there is a clear capacity to manage and distribute the funds. In many instances, the agencies (Public Agencies, Development Agencies and Local Authorities) responsible for administering and distributing the funds do not always have sufficient HR capacity to carry out the work in addition to their normal workloads.
THE COAST THAT SHAPED THE WORLD (‘COAST’)
The project under the West Coast Waters collective of 14 DMOs, of which SkyeConnect is affiliated, is now up and running. Look out for @coastscot on social media – ‘like’ and get involved by sending in your stories via www.coast.scot
The story gatherers can be found at:
The site is available in Gaelic and the survey is bilingual – people are being encouraged to share stories in whichever language they prefer.
COVID-19 TOURISM RESEARCH WEBINAR
Scotland’s tourism businesses and organisations are invited to join a Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) webinar, taking place on Wednesday 27 January from 2pm – 4pm. The webinar will reveal the full results of the COVID-19 impact survey conducted at the end of 2020. To register for the event use this link.
Meeting with Kate Forbes MSP
Ahead of our meeting with Kate Forbes MSP at the beginning of next month we have issued a series of sectoral surveys, these can be found at below. They should not take more than 5 minutes to complete and will enable us to bring matters of concern to the local industry to Kates attention. We would be extremely grateful if as many of you as possible could complete the surveys.
Visitor Attractions: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KR8YYHK
Marine and Outdoor Activities: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KWHPTL6
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The more members we have, the greater our voice. This is especially important in an area like Skye and Raasay where so many businesses are ‘micro’ in size. As our Membership Officer, David MacDonald says:
‘In order for our island to truly realise the potential of this economic clout we need individuals, businesses and communities to come together. We won’t all agree on everything, but can recognise we all want to see Skye thrive”.