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Working for the island we love

Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 18th July 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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It’s great to be able to start a mini-bite with some heart-warming news. Portree has been listed in Time Magazine’s “World’s greatest places of 2022”. Our place in the top fifty is alongside iconic locations as the Galapagos islands, the Zambezi National Park and the Arctic. It’s a shame that this global demand is being stymied by the shortage of employees as a result of Brexit and our chronic lack of affordable housing……more on housing below…..

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Member Spotlight - Hazelbank, 5 Upper Colbost

With amazing views across the loch to Dunvegan Castle and access to the hills behind from the garden, Hazelbank offers 3 modern en-suite rooms all with Super king beds. Two of the rooms are in the main house and have access to a separate guests lounge and breakfast room both with fantastic views. The third room is self contained and has its own private entrance. Continental breakfast is served for room 3. Full Scottish breakfast is included with a wide ranging continental buffet. Additional options include smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, porridge or a platter of Scottish meats and cheeses, your choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Packed lunches can be arranged for an additional charge.

Business Housing Needs

Completion of our Business Housing Needs survey, funded with the support of Highland Council, HIE and the Lochalsh and Skye Housing association. The main headline that has been picked up by newspapers and Broadcasters across the UK is that between 1300 and 1700 jobs remain unfilled on Skye largely due to a lack of mid-range rentable housing. The findings of the survey corroborate similar studies in Lochaber and Cairngorm and will be the subject of an economic recovery conference organised by HIE in September.

STL Update

A successful collaboration with the ASSC saw 60 self-catering operators gather at Sligachan Hotel on the 8th of July to hear from both the ASSC and Highland Council Licencing department on the latest information regarding licencing requirements for the Self Catering Industry. Those present were given the list of mandatory compliance requirements within the new legislation. VisitScotland will also be publishing a definitive list of operator requirements soon. Businesses are advised to keep and eye on the website visitscotland.org

STL Survey

On the same subject, a wide-ranging new survey, which aims to get a complete picture of Scotland’s short-term let sector, has been announced. Sponsored by “Skyes Cottages” and conducted by the Moffat Centre, the ASSC-led survey will undertake a review and baseline evaluation of the sector, ahead of the introduction of short-term let licensing and its subsequent review by the Scottish Government next year. All relevant businesses are urged to complete the survey – https://bit.ly/3uUL4s6

Winter/Spring Marketing Campaign

Analysis of our spring and winter marketing campaign “Skye the Island of Adventure” indicates a 300% increase in site visits to myskyetime.com over the corresponding period last year. The overall “reach” of the social media activity resulted in 887,800 views of campaign material including 116,021 video views. Both the MST Winter Page and the MST Spring Page now appear on google front page for searches, ‘Isle of Skye Winter’ and ‘Isle of Skye Spring’.  The Jobs page is now on the google front page for search ‘Skye Summer Jobs’. And MST is the top google hit for ‘Volunteer Skye’. We accept that these are small steps but they can only happen with continued financial support through membership funding. Our core costs cannot be used for marketing. While we have sufficient funds to be able to commit to a joint highland wide autumn and winter campaign this year we are unable, at present, to fund a dedicated Skye campaign to build on the reach achieved with the “Island of Adventure” campaign

Land Reform Bill

The next Land Reform Bill will make important changes to the framework of law and policy that govern the system of ownership, management and use of land in Scotland. This consultation sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for the Bill and seeks views on a range of land-related issues. We encourage all businesses and community organisations with an interest in land reform to respond to the consultation https://www.gov.scot/publications/land-reform-net-zero-nation-consultation-paper/

National Visitor Management Transport

SkyeConnect is now a member of a National Visitor Management Transport working group, led by Lomond and the Trossachs National park. The group seeks to bring together DMOs, Chambers and the public sector to develop best practice and advocacy for the development of low carbon integrated transport system in visitor destinations.

Business Barometer 2022 Report

The Open University has published its Business Barometer 2022 report, in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce. A survey of over 1,300 employers, the report is an annual temperature check on the UK’s business landscape across UK nations, regions and industry sectors.

Highlights from Scottish businesses include:

  • 77% report that skills shortages mean reduced output, profitability or growth.
  • 70% are experiencing the knock-on effect of ongoing skills shortages and recruitment challenges.
  • 84% are saying the impact of staff shortages increases the workload of other staff, affecting staff morale and well-being.
  • 62% have implemented a written plan around recruitment and training, with over 53% expecting to increase their investment in staff training over the next year.

To read the full report, click here.

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