Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 18th May 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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In a week where further restrictions on lock down were lifted including hugging loved ones…….. and a new legal definition was created covering “socialising in bedrooms”, the Tourism industry received a number of pieces of good news.

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Group has pledged to continue support for the outdoor and coach sector. And VisitScotland is continuing to work on the criteria for the £25 million pledged by the First Minister as part of the on-going support package for the Tourism industry in Scotland.

Below are a few other headlines from the work at SkyeConnect HQ –

Loch to Larder Multi Award winning Isle of Skye Sea Salt available in outlets in Skye, across the Highlands and online.

Quick Skip

Skye Flags to CalMac

SkyeConnect has handed over maritime standard Skye flags to CalMac to be flown on vessels sailing to and from Skye. The hand-over had been delayed due to Covid and Social distancing.  We now have T-shirts sporting the Skye Flag available to buy here https://www.myskyetime.com/shop/

Market Intelligence on Accomodation Bookings

Market intelligence on bookings shows fortunes vary across the sectors. Self-catering for single family units appears strong. B&Bs are reporting a slow uptake, while Hotels are reporting growing confidence. Campsites still remain quiet.

Numerous consumer research organisations report that booking lead in times are currently quite short. Operators need to be aware that it is currently a ‘buyers’ market and that expecting booking to fill up with minimal promotion, while possible pre covid, is currently not an option. We are currently negotiating with VisitScotland for some online training sessions “The basics in marketing post covid” for local businesses that we hope to bring to you in the coming weeks. While we have to accept that market confidence will vary across the sectors, there are a number of actions that operators can take to ensure that they are ‘noticed’ when customers are searching for a getaway.

  1. Update your free VS.com listing. The VS.com platform receives over 20 million visits a year, Alan Mackenzie Alan.Mackenzie2@visitscotland.com our local VisitScotland business development officer can provide help and support in developing your listing.
  2. Check the quality of your website in terms of quality of images and referral links. Our Website and IT support Coordinator – David Macdonald David.macdonald@skye-connect.com can offer support in the form of a website review, which is FREE to members of SkyeConnect
Scottish Tourism Alliance Destination Management Organisation Forum

We took part in the latest STA (Scottish Tourism Alliance) DMO (Destination Management Organisation) forum. The key takeaways included useful market and operator intelligence as reported above, along with some other industry insights: 1. The lack of chefs is proving a serious issue with many having left the profession during the pandemic. 2. Visitors may be willing to take breaks but are reticent to visit places where there are likely to be lots of people. 3. The STA is clear that advocacy for prolonged support for the Tourism sector will be necessary. 4. VAT is currently low but if it goes back to its former levels there will be serious consequences. 5. The lack of clarity on International travel remains a stumbling block for the industry.

Protect Skye QR Code Checkin System

Our test and protect app https://www.facebook.com/SkyeConnected/posts/protect-skye-local-qr-code-system-to-keep-customers-and-guests-safe-reduce-work-/3481305001947029/ is growing. The app, a joint initiative by www.Skye-Connect.com  and https://www.skyecommunityresponse.co.uk , is aimed at keeping residents and visitors safe. Please promote the app wherever possible. Guests only have to register once. Their details will then be available via the QR code system when requested anywhere on Skye & Raasay.

Self-Catering and B&B on MySkyeTime

The new Self Catering and B&B pages are now live on www.myskyetime.com Listings are a key membership benefit and no commission is charged for bookings through the platform. Membership details can be found at https://www.skye-connect.com/join-us/

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