November is the busiest time of the year for tourism industry events, surveys, awards ceremonies, and conferences, rounding off the year past and looking ahead to the one to come.
Mini Bite – Sustainable Skye, AGM, Autumn Survey and more…
In the Mini Bite below you'll find information on the work of SkyeConnect and on news affecting the Tourism Industry in our area.
As another busy summer season draws to a close, it’s important to reflect on the challenges we have faced in 2023.
Although tourist numbers have returned to near pre-pandemic levels, staffing woes, infrastructure problems, supply chain challenges, the cost of living crisis and rising costs have all been constant issues throughout the season. This has created a difficult environment for businesses and visitors alike. In recognition of this, SkyeConnect have created an Autumn survey to gather hard data to present to decision-makers to ensure we can continue fighting for the policy changes and support needed to develop Skye as a sustainable destination that works for businesses, visitors and the local community. We have also partnered with Highland Waste Community Partnership for an exciting event on 14th November called “Sustainable Skye: Smart Waste Solutions for your Business” which will also include our AGM. Sustainable Skye aims to bring the community and businesses together for a positive problem solving event with a packed agenda that will hopefully provide inspiration for the winter months and beyond. As ever, thank you for your support and engagement and please get in touch with us if there’s anything we can do to further support you.
Skyeconnect AGM and Sustainable Skye Event
SkyeConnect and Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP) have partnered to bring you “Sustainable Skye” – a fantastic FREE event to help you find “Smart Business Waste Solutions For your Business”.
Please go to the Eventbrite link for full details and to reserve your place:
The AGM will take placeat at An Crùbh, from 9am to 9.45am before the Sustainable Skye event officially begins with our Keynote Speaker Laura Young (Less Waste Laura). Laura is an Award winning climate activist, environmental scientist, & ethical influencer.
Awarded “Scottish Influencer of the Year – Inspiration”, Laura is a regular expert voice on national radio, TV & TEDx & works with businesses of all sizes including global brands like Volkswagen, Lush, Boots & The Scottish Government, bringing critical insights on climate change & sustainability to a wide audience. Laura holds a variety of voluntary, board & advisory positions including Scottish Wildlife Trust Young Leaders, Marine Conservation Society Youth Ocean Network, & 2050 Climate Group.
The event will also feature panel discussions with businesses from Skye hosted by Suzy from Radio Skye, problem solving discussions, cooking/menu reduction demonstrations, business & community composting advice, cardboard reuse & recycling project ideas, trade stands, refill schemes that your business can get involved with immediately, plus a healthy lunch provided by the amazing SELF HEALTH and much more!
SkyeConnect Autumn Survey
As another summer season on Skye draws to a close it is important for us all to reflect on the year and identify the challenges that may be hindering the industry. We know from experience the importance of gathering hard data to present to Governments and other decisions-makers in order to secure the support we need to develop Skye as a sustainable destination that works for visitors and residents alike. By taking a few minutes to complete our Autumn survey, you will be assisting your destination management organisation in lobbying for positive change for the benefit of all. Please follow the link to access the survey. Thank you for your time and valuable input.
Winter Footpath Operations
We are pleased to announce that further environmental protection work funded by THC and SGRPID will be starting at Meall na Suiramach above the Quiraing car park from Nov this year, the contract is expected to be completed in March ’24. There will be helicopter lifts with materials starting in December. The contractor is ACT Heritage – actheritageltd.co.uk
Skyeconnect’s Myskyetime App Nominated for Innovation Award
Skyeconnect are nominated for a HITA this year in the Innovation in Tourism category alongside The Dramathon and Stories of Scotland Podcast. In assessing methods to manage visitor numbers at ‘hotspot’ locations, Skyeconnect realised there was an opportunity to harness and link a range of real-time data sources including traffic sensors, car park ticket machines and footpath counters. This data linked to the MySkyetime APP provides real-time information for tourists planning a visit to a location and, if heavily congested, suggests alternatives locations.
The MySkyetime APP offers significant benefit to both the visitor and SkyeConnect members. Visitors have a complete guide to Skye in their smartphone and can use the map to zoom in on locations to find out about specific locations and individual attractions and businesses. The App also provides essential information on the location of hospitals, police stations and even every defibrillator point on Skye. The real-time data feeds into carbon emissions analysis, enabling the impact of vehicle movement and congestion to be seen by users of the APP. To harness the array of data and bring all the information together in the MySkyetime APP SkyeConnect has worked in partnership with Edinburgh University Businesses School, Cairn Consulting, many different departments of The Highland Council, Transport Scotland, CalMac, SSE and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland.
STA Conference and AGM
The Scottish Tourism Alliance’s (STA) renowned programme of high-quality events continues for 2023, with the much-anticipated return of its Autumn Conference on Tuesday 31st October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) in Edinburgh. The event will bring together leading voices and experts from a broad range of sectors for a day packed with speaker presentations, panel sessions and plenty of opportunities to catch up with colleagues and create new connections. Whether you’re a business owner or manager, supplier or aspiring leader, this is an unmissable event, with attendees given access to the latest insights, trends and forecasts for travel and hospitality, the economy, and policy as well as an update on Scotland Outlook 2030, Scotland’s National Tourism Strategy. They will also benefit from invaluable advice and actionable learnings both for tackling challenges and capitalising opportunities that they may be facing in the industry now and in the future. For more information and to book tickets go to: scottishtourismalliance.co.uk/the-sta-agm-autumn-conference-2023/
Highlands and Island Thistle Awards, 10th Nov 2023
The Highlands and Island Thistle Awards will culminate in a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel on the 10th of November, 2023. A gathering of industry leaders, sponsors and most importantly all the companies short-listed for an award for a spectacular evening of celebration and recognition. The evening aims to reflect exemplary excellence achieved throughout the industry, honouring the short-listed companies and celebrating the winners. The Drumossie chefs will produce an innovative dinner using only the best of locally sourced ingredients, inspiring speakers will be thought provoking and the entertainment will be fun and engaging. Please visit www.hita-awards.com for more information.
Highland Shortbread Showdown Expressions of Interest
Earlier this year the first ever Highland Shortbread Showdown was held with regional events across the Highlands and the final in Inverness. Mackenzie’s Bakery, Portree bagged the top spot. The event is to be run again in 2024 and the organisers are looking for expressions of interest for any would be champion shortbread bakers. You don’t have to be a commercial baker, just a business that produces shortbread for guests / customers … if you fancy your chances just follow the link to the 2024 Shortbread Showdown Competitor Interest form.
Be Part of Our Community.
A pioneering event, brought together a collective of community members, local organisations and businesses, to address some of the waste issues on the Isle of Skye. With an influx of approximately 600,000+ annual visitors, it faces unprecedented waste management challenges.
Rising costs have hit the profitability the majority of tourism business on Skye, despite the increased visitor numbers and turnover during the 2023 season.
In Alistair’s Mini Bite below you’ll find information on Alistair Danter’s work as Project Manager for SkyeConnect.