Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter –20th December 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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Dear Colleague

As we end a very difficult year the cautious optimism of our recent business survey, following a better-than-expected season, has been hit by the emergence of the omicron covid variant.

Once again, Hospitality will suffer as last minute Christmas parties are cancelled and travel restrictions disrupt festive season plans. Our short “Omicron variant” survey (https://bit.ly/3ICKpks) will help to give a picture of the impact on hospitality business from Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh.

Here’s what else has been occupying us at SkyeConnect HQ:

Quick Skip

Christmas at Skye Bridge Studios

The team at Skye Bridge Studios are beginning to feel very festive! They have an incredible line up of feel-good festive fun this December including films, live theatre, music and more!
For more information and to book tickets visit their website.
“Skye – The island of Adventure and Discovery”

The SkyeConnect Winter marketing campaign – “Skye – The island of Adventure and Discovery” has been launched https://www.myskyetime.com/winter-adventure/ This will be a social media campaign targeting specific demographies in Central Scotland, the North and South East of England. Our campaign is part of a suite of promotions from the Highlands. We have also contributed to a VisitScotland regional Highland campaign.

“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/

Recruitment

The other key recruitment channel for would-be employers to list all of their part-time, full-time and seasonal vacancies is the CareerScope jobs portal – http://careerscope.uk.net/employer- sign-up/

Recycling

Following contact from a member experiencing uplift problems with their Highland Council recycling contract we held a useful conversation with THC. The key message was that locality affects service and volume is the key. Some campsites have developed complex uplift agreements based on historical seasonal flows of visitors. These can be negotiated with THC at the beginning of the annual contract period. It became apparent that some businesses experiencing problems were not in fact using THC as their contractor. In main centres such as Portree and Broadford, THC contracts can be flexible and uplifts can be as regular as businesses wish. Queries can be submitted via waste@highland.gov.uk  The service can offer guidance and staff training on waste management and business support with a carbon measurement tool. The key link to THC services is https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1060/rubbish_-_commercial_waste/134/commercial_waste_and_recycling_collection_service

National Deposit Return Scheme

Linked to the discussion with THC we learnt more about the National Deposit return scheme that will be implemented in July ’22 .The scheme will require any businesses selling drinks in glass and plastic bottles to operate a deposit return system. This will be a game changer for the hospitality industry in particular Campsites, Self Caterers and small B&B businesses. Further information on the scheme can be found at

https://depositreturnscheme.zerowastescotland.org.uk

Local Access Forum

After over 2 years of absence the Local Access Forum met for the first time under the chairmanship of Mark Crowe, the new Access officer for Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber. Securing the Access officer’s position was a success for SkyeConnect’s lobbying, as the position was threatened with being closed by THC. A successful campaign with the support of local elected members kept the position alive. Mark now works closely with the Ranger Service on a number of access issues. Access and the Ranger service are key front line resources for visitor management in the area.

Visit Scotland Updates

VisitScotland recently circulated the latest updates from Scottish Government with information on travel restrictions, testing and isolation, vaccination certification and more. Details can be found at https://bit.ly/3si3NgP

Our Christmas Message

A Christmas message from  the Chair of SkyeConnect – Dave Till – https://vimeo.com/657455088

From everyone at SkyeConnect, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and healthy and happy New Year.

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