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Working for the island we love

Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 19th February 2023

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

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I recently came across the Big Mac Burger Index which surprisingly provides a guide to expected levels of visitors to the UK from the USA. The index reveals that a Big Mac costs £3.79 in Britain and US$5.36 in the United States. The implied exchange rate is 0.71. The difference between this and the actual exchange rate of 0.81 suggests the British pound is 12.9% undervalued no wonder reports of a high number of bookings from the USA and Europe abound! As we prepare for a deluge of visitors there is so much happening at SkyeConnect HQ.

Survey Time

Please take 15 minutes to respond to the current STA business survey here. This will help provide both both the national and local picture on current issues facing our sector. The data obtained is invaluable.

We are in regular contact with the STA to find ways that we can capture local data and measure against the regional and national picture. If we can do this with just one survey this will save time and energy for everyone. Historically responses from Highland Region have been amongst the highest numerically …. Please keep it up!

Highland Tourism Partnership

The recent Highland Tourism Partnership meeting included a review of progress with STL registration. Following the announcement that the registration period for licences has been extended for 6 months, it has been reported that operators seem to be holding back from the registration process. The meeting stressed that the extension period has NOT been officially ratified and that operators should register as soon as possible. Please note we are currently in negotiation with the Highland Council Legal team responsible for managing STL implementation and hope to be announcing an online webinar in late March to discuss the STL application process.

DMO Network

Recent meetings with both Highland and national DMO’s discussed the current raft of regulatory legislation set to impact on the Tourism sector in the coming months – STLs, Returnable Bottle scheme, visitor levies etc. While recognising the importance of appropriate regulatory legislation, SkyeConnect as part of the wider industry group expressed concern at the level of legislation at a time when the industry is recovering from Covid and the cost of living crisis and employment issues are also creating undue pressures. The industry plans to use a range of channels to lobby Government.

“New Year, New Supplier” Event

Tuesday 28th February sees the return of the SkyeConnect “New Year, New Supplier” event at Kyleakin Hall from 1000 – 1600. There are a limited number of stalls still available for hire to suppliers. The event is open to any business wishing to sell to the local tourism sector (+ / – 1400 businesses across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh). Entry for the public and business buyers is free. For further information contact info@skye-connect.com

VisitScotland

For those businesses with an entry on the VisitScotland.com site please note that the site is being revamped. VisitScotland are “beta testing” the new site and operators can login to have a sneak preview via their website.

Visitor Management

Our own visitor management tool through MySkyeTime and a downloadable app is currently going through beta testing and we hope to be able to release the app in the next few weeks (please note we are at the mercy of Apple and Google on this!)

Responsible Tourism

VisitScotland has just announced a series of responsible tourism webinars:

Promoting Uig

In the next week we will be launching a new video to promote Uig and the surrounding area. The film has been commissioned with funding from Transport Scotland to promote the area during the closure of the Ferry terminal. The video will be promoted through SkyeConnect and VisitScotland social media channels and will be free for local businesses to use on websites and social media platforms.

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