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HIE announces digital support for tourism businesses

17 March 2016

As part of Scottish Tourism Week, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is announcing a £310,000 investment to ensure the region’s tourism businesses maximise the benefits from a new £1.2m Digital Tourism Scotland (DTS) programme.

HIE is commissioning local tourism groups across the region to carry out a business survey with tourism SMEs. This will ask them how they are using digital technologies currently and what topics they would like additional help with. The groups will then co-ordinate a range of digital tourism training and events with DTS in partnership with HIE.

The organisations include Argyll & Islands Tourism Co-operative; Caithness Chamber of Commerce; Cairngorm Business Partnership; Moray Speyside Tourism; Outer Hebrides Tourism; Orkney Tourism Group; Promote Shetland; Visit Inverness Loch Ness, and Lochaber Chamber,
As part of the tourism sector support the first series of webinars kicks off on Tuesday 26 April.

Businesses can register for these sessions now here

The HIE investment will enable tourism groups in the Highlands and Islands to maximise the impact of the national programme locally, ensuring activities, programmes and webinars reflect business requirements. Topics may include web development, using social media to engage and drive traffic to a website, analytics and creating web content amongst others.

Audrey Maclennan, senior development manager for tourism at HIE, said: “With the majority of visitors to Scotland starting their journey online, businesses need to drive visitors to their sites and create the right type of content. The local support is designed to inspire tourism businesses to think about new ways of implementing digital technologies in their business and will be co-ordinated by tourism groups which are an integral voice for the sector.”

“The activities and programmes delivered as part of this investment will allow businesses to meet the ever-increasing digital tourists’ expectations and continually improve their experience by effective use of digital technologies.”

Mark Tate chief executive of Cairngorms Business Partnership, said: “The power of digital to inspire and attract visitors is huge. We are just about to launch our own marketing programme for 2016/17 which is a digitally led campaign delivering content to inspire visitors who come to the Cairngorms National Park to stay longer and return sooner.

“This programme of workshops and events is perfectly timed to help businesses across the National Park embrace the power of digital for their own business. We will be co-ordinating this exciting piece of work helping businesses in the National Park access a tailored programme which will help them deliver their digital ambition.”

Meanwhile, representatives from HIE and some tourism groups have recently returned from a five day learning journey at the Digital Content Tourism Campus in the Faroe Islands where they heard from leading examples in digital tourism from counterparts in Iceland, South Africa, Denmark and other locations.

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