In Alistair's Mini Bite below you'll find information on Alistair Danter's work as Project Manager for SkyeConnect.Read More
Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 10th September 2022
In Alistair's Mini Bite below you'll find information on Alistair Danter's work as Project Manager for SkyeConnect.
Welcome back to the Mini bite report after a few weeks absence. I think we are all reeling at the sudden passing of the Queen. Everyone at SkyeConnect would like to pass on our condolences to the Royal family.
Until the sad events of this week the focus of the nation was very much on the cost of living crisis and the steps the new Prime Minister plans to take to reduce the impact on individual households and businesses.
As soon as the detail of the Government’s support package becomes clear we intend to conduct an island wide survey to find out how the current crisis is impacting businesses and their plans for the winter months.
Here’s some other snippets of activity
STA DMO Forum
We attended the recent STA (Scottish Tourism Alliance) DMO forum and can report that the STA has been having meetings with both UK and Scottish Government over matters related to the cost of living crisis. The key ask of the UK Government is a freeze on the energy cap and a reduction in VAT. The key ask of the Scottish Government is a reduction in business rates for a year and a review / pause of the regulatory legislation that will incur costs for businesses. Significant issues for the Tourism sector are the deposit return scheme, short term lets, Tourist tax, plans to introduce a 20p charge for single-use coffee cups and workforce parking levies in urban locations. Anyone wishing to see copies of the current STA policy briefings please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn Breaks in High Demand
Briefings from VisitScotland in the last week focussed on their recent consumer sentiment surveys which reflect a high demand for autumn breaks in Scotland with retirees and couples being the most significant groups. Motivation for breaks for older demographies are “getting away from it all” for others it is the great outdoors. The red flag is that there are clear limits on spend related to autumn breaks due to the cost of living crisis. Guests will be looking to save costs where possible. Flexible booking deals with links between providers and the options of “free experiences” will help to convert enquiries into bookings. VS key messaging is “what Scotland will give you”. SkyeConnect encourages businesses to replicate these sentiments in their own promotions. Full details can be found at https://www.visitscotland.org/news/2021/scotland-is-calling-launch
In depth general consumer sentiment surveys carried out by our friends at 56 Degree Insight backing up the VS findings can be found at https://www.56degreeinsight.com/scottish-tourism-index
Mitigation Initiatives – Uig Peir Winter Closure
We are meeting with Transport Scotland and VisitScotland to discuss potential mitigation initiatives to the closure of Uig pier during the winter months, albeit for a reduced period compared to the original project time scales. This week’s West Highland Free Press has a front page article on local concerns about the lack of consultation with communities and businesses on Skye.
Trans Skye Cycle Route
There is some good news for cycle projects on Skye – THC and Transport Scotland have combined to fund a Sustrans officer to be embedded in Highland Council to support cycle route developments. The Trans Skye Cycle route project that SkyeConnect has been supporting for the last two and a half years is nearing completion and we hope to be releasing the final report shortly. A huge amount of work has been undertaken with communities to map and identify a series of inter and intra community cycle routes across Skye. With Active travel likely to attract considerable funding in the coming years as part of the transition to net zero the document will be invaluable for local groups / communities wishing to raise funds for routes. Our advocacy work with Sustrans includes promoting the notion that current cycle route specification requirements are inappropriate for the rural environment. While volume of usage will not match urban locations it is clear from the project that if cycling on Skye could be made a safe form of transport many more would take to pedalling.
A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW SKYE CONNECT MEMBERS!
New Members – we would like to welcome our newest Skye Connect members!
Lynne Kennedy – Photographer
Lance Mason – Orchard House
Anita Larson – Anitas Herbs
We would like to remind all those joining that your membership includes a business listing on the website www.myskyetime.com. When you join, please remember to fill in your business details and make sure that we have a telephone contact as well as an email. We have had some recent “joiners” who have not completed their business details and so we have not been able to add
their listing to the website. If you are one of these people please get your details to eilidh.munro@skye-connect asap – Thanks