Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter –31st 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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Amidst a wet and dreich end to the first month of 2022, MSPs have voted 68 to 53 to support Short Term Let licensing. They also voted in favour of the planning control zone regulations 87 to 33. Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems all voted against. More information can be found here:

https://www.assc.co.uk/scottish-government-approve-legislation-on-short-term-let-licensing/

SkyeConnect will work with THC to assist where possible with implementing the system. We will also keep a close eye on the business impacts of the licensing, especially in terms of the licensing and inspection charges that will be levied, feeding back concerns to appropriate bodies.

Here is the rest of the news from SkyeConnect HQ ….. (where no parties have taken place) …..

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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/

SkyeConnect and Voluntourism

We recently took part in a workshop bringing together businesses and voluntary organisations with projects that need muscle. We are pleased to announce that 3 Trusts based on the island – John Muir Trust, Sleat Community Trust and Staffin Trust are working on collaborative projects with tour companies whose guests and staff want to take part in a range of environmental restoration – from tree planting to footpath building projects – over the coming months. SkyeConnect will play an intermediary role, hosting projects that businesses can link up with. Our Voluntourism website page on www.myskyetime has gathered over 200 contacts in recent months from people interested in coming to Skye and doing some volunteer work while they are on the island.

Housing Matters

A collaborative piece of work is underway between SkyeConnect; The Highland Council; Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association to research the impact on business development caused by the lack of affordable housing on the island. The current Scottish Government criteria for supporting investment in social housing is based around homelessness. Members of the partnership believe that on Skye, Lochalsh and Raasay it is an economic development issue. The survey will seek to establish impacts that the lack of affordable housing are having on businesses.

“Destination Climate Action Planning Workshops” 

A new initiative from VisitScotland – https://bit.ly/3KVRrSw Sign up is free, although places are limited. SkyeConnect will be attending along with colleagues from Skye Climate Action.

Business Support Schemes

Business support + top up funding schemes have been announced by VisitScotland. The organisation is administering £28m of additional funding for businesses that faced additional challenges in recent months as a result of Omicron. Four of the six funding strands are now live:

Funding packages for Outdoor & Marine and Visitor Attractions will follow in the very near future. Detail on the Culture and Events funds will come shortly after that. 

“Digital Boost” Online Training Webinars

Business Gateway, together with VisitScotland, have announced a series of “Digital Boost” online training webinars for businesses. Details can be found here:  https://bit.ly/3gdcO3u

Spirit of the Highlands Project

Inverness Castle is looking for stories that reflect the unique natural and cultural heritage of all areas of the Highlands – Please submit ideas at https://www.spiritofthehighlands.com/get-involved/  Feel free to share this portal with other partners and groups. 

Fully Funded Training Courses

“Hospitality Health”, in collaboration with HIT Scotland , is delighted to be able to offer a range of fully funded mental health and wellbeing training courses for staff within the hospitality and tourism industry.  The courses include the following:

    • Training of staff to deliver ‘In house training’ of Mental Health First Aiders
    • Certificated training for staff to become Mental Health First Aiders
    • Certificated training for staff to have awareness in wellbeing and mental health issues
    • Training for staff to have awareness of resilience techniques
    • Training and information for businesses to demonstrate how the culture can change the wellbeing of employees for the better, thereby increasing retention and reducing recruitment

Applications will open on Monday 24th January 2022, closing on Sunday 6th February 2022. Full information about the courses and how to apply is available on the HIT Scotland website https://bit.ly/3s218Gt

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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