Ag obair dha eilean ar gaoil

Working for the island we love

Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 30th May 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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Its been a wet and windy month with signs that visitor numbers are picking up. The number of overseas visitors would appear to be exceeding our expectations, particularly those from the USA. However, businesses are struggling to cope with the demand due to a number of pressures. This is an issue that we will be focusing on at our AGM and follow up event “Sharing Stories – Seeking Solutions” on the 10th June at Seamus Bar Sligachan. A few snippets from the last couple of weeks from SkyeConnect HQ:

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Member Spotlight - Ronald MacDonald Photography

Ronald MacDonald OBE is a photographer living in Portree on the Isle of Skye who has been producing and selling landscape photographs of the rugged Skye landscape since the early 1980’s. Although his landscape work is primarily in colour, Ronald also has a keen interest in black and white photography and pushing the limits of his landscape work through his abstract photographs.

In 2010 Ronald and his wife Catriona opened their Skye Gallery, An t-Eilean Gallery in Portree, which is dedicated to Ronald’s landscape photographs and also includes a range of high quality gifts. Most of the photographs on display are Isle of Skye prints. Ronald prints, mounts and frames all of his work in his Portree workshop using archival quality materials on a range of media, including the highest quality photo rag paper, polycotton canvas, aluminium and acrylic.

Spotlight – Recruitment Crisis

SkyeConnect’s Director Gary Curley highlights the devastating recruitment crisis in our area and it’s impact on hospitality and tourism businesses https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/loads-of-visitors-no-staff-tourism-industry-45000-workers-short/

SkyeConnect AGM & Industry Summit

SkyeConnect AGM will take place at Seamus Bar, Sligachan Hotel on Friday 10th June at 9:30. Following the meeting SkyeConnect will host an industry summit “Sharing Stories – Seeking Solutions” with local business representations, speakers from HIE and Highland Council and Elected representatives – Kate Forbes and Ian Blackford. Attendance is free for members, and £5 for non-members via Eventbrite – https://bit.ly/38Ym8Z1

Short Term Let Update

We attended the recent Highland Tourism Partnership (HTP) meeting that included a presentation from Highland Council on the process to establish the licensing and inspection system. The process will require the recruitment of an entire new team of officers. The process will be put out to consultation in June. Anyone who would be interested in a summary of the presentation please email alistair@skye-connect.com The HTP is currently considering the best way to work with Highland Council and the industry body, the Association of Scottish Self Caterers.

Shuttle Bus Service

Stagecoach will be providing a limited Shuttle Bus service to the Fairy Pools starting on the 28th May for the duration of the Scottish school holidays. From the 4th of July it will run for 6 days a week until the 15th The service number is 54 running from Somerled Square in Portree. Please tell your guests.

VisitScotland Business EV Charger Grant

The VisitScotland Business EV charger grant scheme is now open for applications. Details can be found at https://www.visitscotland.org/news/2022/ev-charge-point

Single Use Plastic Ban

Scotland’s single use plastic ban kicks in on the first of June at which point use of the following single use plastic items will no longer be permitted – cutlery, plates, beverage stirrers, food containers made of expanded polystyrene, cups and lids made of expanded polystyrene, straws (exemptions apply), balloon sticks (exemptions apply). Further details can be found at:  https://bit.ly/3NHL45P

Industry Consultations

Two important industry consultations are currently ongoing………. we would urge local operators to contribute. We know you are all busy but the greater the participation from business in Industry development, the stronger the sector will become:

National Park consultation information can be found at: The Future for National Parks in Scotland — Scottish Government Dialogue (ideas.gov.scot)

STA’s most comprehensive Industry survey to date can be found at: https://bit.ly/3NNTSY9

During the month we sadly said goodbye to Eilidh Munro, (Admin and Finance) and David MacDonald (IT Developments). They have both contributed hugely to the development of Skyeconnect and we are extremely grateful for their hard work, creativity and positive attitude. We wish them the very best for the future.

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