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Tune into Tourism - Road to Recovery 2020


Episode 1

Trends within the industry

Travel journalist Simon Calder, and VisitScotland’s Senior Tourism Insight Manager Chris Greenwood, join host Julia Sutherland to share their knowledge and dissect the latest news and trends within the tourism industry this week.

In this episode, we hear why your digital communication is crucial, how social distancing could work in your business, and what consumers are currently looking for.

Episode 2

Digital tourism

Digital Tourism Think Tank’s Nick Hall, and VisitScotland’s Senior Tourism Insight Manager, Chris Greenwood, joined host Julia Sutherland and discussed the role of sustainability within the ‘new normal’, the importance of involving communities to mitigate tourism impacts, as well as how tourism can help to rebuild the local economy.

Episode 3

Digital strategy

Digital strategy expert Emil Spangenberg and VisitScotland’s Senior Tourism Insight Manager, Chris Greenwood, join host Julia Sutherland to talk about getting your marketing messages right, as we begin the process of restarting tourism in Scotland.

Episode 4

Building communities online

Julia Sutherland is joined by adventurer, writer and founder of The Yes Tribe, Dave Cornthwaite, who shares his experience around building communities online. Scott Fraser, Senior Trend Analyst at ‘The Food People’, also shares innovative ideas from hospitality businesses around the world. Finally, we look at the top three points from this week’s VisitScotland Trends and Insights paper.

Episode 5

Go To Go Scotland

In this episode, host Julia Sutherland is joined by VisitScotland's Director of Industry and Destination Development, Riddell Graham, who fully explains the process of self-certifying your business with the Good to Go scheme (www.goodtogoscotland.com), and travel journalist and broadcaster Simon Calder reports back on emerging trends and industry reactions in England and beyond, as well as sharing some of his own experiences of travelling within Europe over the last few weeks.

Episode 6

Improving visitor experience

As the tourism industry re-opens in Scotland, episode 6 looks at how we can improve the visitor experience, and increase revenue, as you rebuild your business. This week, Julia is joined by ‘Market Manager’ for the Expedia Group, Matthew Quinn, who looks at what accommodation providers can learn from the latest booking trends. We also speak with tourism expert and keynote speaker, Doug Lanksy, who shares his vision to rethink the metrics of success, and ensure the future survival of the industry by taking a 'less is more' approach. 

Episode 7

Marketing strategy

Episode 7 is all about marketing strategies. CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Michael Golding, shares some encouraging news following the launch of the new ‘Scottish Cities’ marketing campaign. Carron Tobin, Development Manager for Argyll and the Isles Tourism co-operative, tells us about their latest strategy, emphasising their impressive local food and drink offering, and how working with a Blogger has provided revelation and inspiration!

Episode 8

Digital applications

In this episode we are joined by Lesley Judge, Sector Engagement Executive for Tourism at Interface. Lesley shares some of the many developments across the sectors, from the growing use of QR codes in hospitality, to the NASA technology being used in new cleaning techniques. Chief Executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, Fiona Campbell, also highlights some of the apps being developed for use by self-catering businesses in response to COVID-19.

Episode 9

A focus on accommodation

This week, we will be focusing on the accommodation sector and our regular host, Julia Sutherland, is joined by Craig Ewan (Operations Director, Kingsmills Goup), Jane Slaughter (Owner, Pinewood Steading) and Jamie Conner (Owner, Secret Highlands). They will be discussing how they’ve had to re-think their entire offering in order to attract a completely different market. By sharing the things that have helped them, as well as discussing what changes will be essential for the survival of their sector, we hope to give you some ideas for your accommodation business as well as reassurance that you’re not alone!

Episode 10

A focus on activity providers

Episode 10’s focus is on activity providers. Our usual host Julia Sutherland is joined by Mark Turner (Solway Tours), Tim Allen (Glass Bottomed Boat Gairloch) and Reece McAfee (River To Sea Scotland) who discuss the specific challenges within their sector and share ideas around diversifying their offering, reducing costs, how the market is changing - and why that could be good news for smaller businesses offering bespoke services.

Episode 11

A focus on visitor attractions

Visitor attractions are the focus of this episode, the penultimate in our Road to Recovery series! Our host Julia Sutherland is joined by Andrew Johnson (General Manager, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions Edinburgh), Iris Thompson-Burton (Business Manager, The Highlanders' Museum), and Martin Murray (Owner / Distiller, Dunnet Bay Distillery). Together they discuss the specific challenges facing the sector, including how to allow for social distancing in listed buildings, enabling guests to interact with exhibits, targeting a different demographic, and the role data and technology has in all of the above!

Episode 12

A focus on food and drink

In the final episode of ‘Road to Recovery’, Julia Sutherland is joined by Jacqui Williamson (owner Corner on the Square, Beauly), Kelly MacKenzie (marketing manager An Talla by Loch Ness), and Craig Innes (owner Pixel Spirits and Loch Leven Hotel). They talk about everything food and drink related, including the challenges of starting a delivery service in rural areas, understanding what local customers really want from your business and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly, creating new online experiences, and the new meaning of BYOB!

About the 2020 series

After a year where everyone's world shrank dramatically, visitors were desperate to escape urban locations for the freedom of a rural environment and have a meaningful experience, really connecting with the locals, drinking in the history, culture and traditions. The Highlands and Islands of Scotland couldn’t be better placed to tap into this desire. 


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About the Northern Innovation Hub

Tune into Tourism is a support programme delivered through the Northern Innovation Hub, designed to build on and accelerate business innovation.

It is funded through the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal - a joint initiative supported by £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands. This programme also receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Innovation strategic intervention.


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