Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter –14th January 2022

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

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Welcome to the first SkyeConnect ‘Mini Bite’ of 2022.

The New year has certainly picked up where the old one left off with plenty of business activity taking place across Skye & Lochalsh.

Chatting with accommodation providers, it is evident that the area is on potential visitors’ radars with increased enquiries and website clicks. However, the conversion from enquiries to bookings is much slower than we would like. We hope our winter marketing campaign (more on this below and at www.myskyetime.com) will help boost bookings.

Here’s what else has been occupying minds at SkyeConnect HQ.

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Skye

The Island of Adventure and Discovery

Whether you’re looking to test yourself on a snowy expedition, get the adrenaline flowing on a freezing coasteering adventure, or looking to relax with local food, whisky and log fire… we’ve got something for you this winter!

“Skye – The island of Adventure and Discovery”

Our winter marketing campaign “Skye – the Island of Winter Adventure and Discovery” is up and running https://www.myskyetime.com/winter-adventure/

This campaign runs in tandem with a VisitScotland and Highland Tourism Alliance campaign that will be going live this weekend. The full-length video on MySkyeTime will be edited into smaller Social media clips targeted at key Scottish and English geographies. The campaign links directly to the website, giving maximum exposure to member businesses. Despite a soft launch, in the first couple of weeks of the campaign we received over 100,000 hits. This is an example of how the more memberships we secure, the more often we can launch pro-active promotions for the area. SkyeConnect aims to spend 70-80% of subscription on marketing. These promotions are vital if we are to maintain visitor awareness of all there is to see and do on Skye all year round.

“A Summer in Skye”

Linked to the winter promotional campaign is a Blog and recruitment initiative “A summer in Skye”. We will collect contact emails from those that see and respond to the campaign and who are interested in working on Skye. These contacts will be a resource for members looking to employ staff in ‘22 – https://www.myskyetime.com/summer-in-skye/

Housing Requirements for Businesses

Working with Lochalsh and Skye Housing association, The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise we will be launching a Business Housing -Needs Survey across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh in February that will be carried out by an independent agency https://www.56degreeinsight.com The purpose of the survey will be to gather evidence on the extent that Business growth and development is being hampered by the lack of affordable housing in the area. This is an important initiative as Local Authority and Scottish Government affordable housing policies are based on housing the homeless. SkyeConnect wish to demonstrate that the lack of affordable housing is an economic development issue as much as a homeless issue. Please keep an eye on https://www.skye-connect.com and associated social media channels for further information.

Business Start-Up & Growth Grants

Highland Council has informed us that take up of Start-up grants, Business growth grants and loans has been high, however there is still money in the pot. So, if you have a start-up or growth plan for your business why not take advantage. Contact in the first instance should be with the local Business Gateway adviser https://bit.ly/3qqCGyT

VisitScotland – Scotland’s Year of Stories

VisitScotland marketing and promotional activity is in full swing for Scotland’s Year of Stories. Information regarding the year-long event can be found at  https://www.visitscotland.org/news/2021/yos-events The launch film can be seen at https://bit.ly/3K3FhXg and VisitScotland Connect – YouTube

Portree Active Travel Consultation

The Portree Active Travel consultation, commissioned just before Christmas by HITRANS in partnership with The Highland Council, is now live. The aim of the Active Travel plan is to enable short local journeys to be made more easily within Portree, and to introduce improvements to the town centre to make it a more inviting and attractive place for both residents and visitors. The work will be carried out by independent consultants https://bit.ly/3truBfb Arup’s contact for the project is Jodie.Allan@arup.com / 0131 635 6032.

Business Support for Hospitality

The Highland Council has advised us that contacts have been made with hospitality businesses who previously secured SFBF support for the December/January Top-up grant. As a condition of the grant ,the Scottish Government requires specific information and certain declarations to be made. If a business is new or has changed  owners then a new application is required – the details of which will be posted on the Scottish Government’s “Find Business Support” website:

https://bit.ly/3rkPlCC

https://bit.ly/3roHog2  

Food & Drink Scotland Seminars

Food and Drink Scotland is hosting several online seminars that should be of interest to the Food production sector. These include opportunities for suppliers to break into the independent convenience retail market – https://bit.ly/3KaQHIU

Thinking of becoming a SkyeConnect Member?

If you see the benefit of what we are doing in terms of marketing and business advocacy please consider taking out a membership – https://www.skye-connect.com/key-benefits/

You may feel that as a business with your own website, social media channels and links with OTA’s there is no need to be part of a local trade organisation. However, Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh needs a collective voice to lobby for funding for visitor management tools, infrastructure, housing and environmental protection.

Thank-you.

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