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Innovative tourism projects launched as part of Scottish programme

Published: 29/11/2021

The Scottish Tourism Recovery Programme is supporting 10 projects being led by Scottish leadership tourism alumni.

Ten innovative responsible tourism projects across the country have been made possible as part of the Scottish Government’s £25 million tourism recovery programme to support the sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The projects, which collectively received over £500k in funding, were revealed today by HIE, Scottish Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE). Successful initiatives include the development of a digital sales tool which allows visitors to ‘pay it forward’, Scotland’s first portal for booking agri-tourism farm experiences across Scotland, an interactive food to fork map in Dumfries and Galloway, a visitor management tool to facilitate safe and sustainable tourism on the Isle of Skye and the creation of a community calculator measuring business impacts.

Developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) in collaboration with members of the Tourism Task Force, the Tourism Leadership & Recovery Fund is part of the Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme. It was available to individuals from businesses or organisations who previously participated in Scotland’s flagship leadership programmes – Destination Leaders Programme (DLP), Communities Leading in Tourism (CLT) and Rural Leadership Programme (RLP).

With the grants ranging from £20,000 to £70,000, the fund is designed to support the recovery of tourism and hospitality in Scotland by driving forward innovation in the tourism sector through collaboration.

The businesses and community groups receiving the awards include: Argyll and Isles Tourism Cooperative, SkyeConnect CIC, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Rural Dimensions, Mercat Tours, Scottish Agritourism, Travel Tech for Scotland, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South of Scotland Destination Alliance, and Eat South West Scotland.

On behalf of the partnership Elaine Morrison, Interim Head of Place at Scottish Enterprise, said:“Tourism is a key sector for Scotland’s economy and, while the past couple of years have been extremely challenging, the innovation we see in these projects is evidence that the recovery of the industry is in good hands.

“Our flagship leadership programmes have been vital in bringing these projects forward and it has been a real lifeline to the sector in this financial year that we’ve been able to offer many of these for free to the tourism industry through the Scottish Government’s £25million tourism recovery programme.”

One of our region's grant award recipients is Skye Connect CIC. Alistair Danter is an alumni of the Communities Leading in Tourism programme. The business has been awarded a grant to develop and implement a pioneering online system that will allow for effective visitor management, ensuring the future safety of visitors and residents and protecting the environment. 

He said: “It’s hard to underestimate the significance of this award and the impact it will have. Visitor management has become the single most important issue facing Skye in recent years. As Scotland’s most iconic island we want to host our visitors in a responsible and sustainable fashion to minimise disruption and inconvenience to our communities and to create a great experience for our visitors. The creation of an effective, IT based visitor management tool will bring significant benefits to Skye as Scotland’s second most important visitor destination.”

Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme courses are free to participants for this financial year only and application deadlines are fast approaching, so individuals are encouraged to apply now to avoid disappointment:

 

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Projects

 

Project Name

Collabor-ait, The Drinks Cabinet & The pantry

Project Summary

This project will involve the creation of a future leaders’ forum that will help the region to address key challenges and create and deliver two innovative collaborative visitor pass style products showcasing bookable experiences and promoting high standards of customer service.

Lead Organisation

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative

Amount awarded

£49,115.00

 

Project Name

Visitor Management Tool – SkyeConnect

Project Summary

The project hopes to facilitate safe and sustainable tourism on the Isle of Skye, ensure safety of visitors & residents in the future and protect the environment. The project will pioneer the development and implementation of innovative digital system, that will allow for effective visitor management.

Lead Organisation

SkyeConnect CIC

Amount Awarded

£89,323

 

Scottish Enterprise Projects

 

Project Name

Edinburgh Community Calculator (measuring the community benefits of business events to Edinburgh)

Project Summary

The calendar will record, measure and assess the impact that business events bring to Scotland’s historic capital.  This will help to position Edinburgh’s business events community at the fore globally by capturing the data in a meaningful and useable way (anything more we can add about how this will support responsible tourism?)]".

Lead Organisation

Edinburgh International Conference Centre Ltd

Amount awarded

£33,000

 

Project Name

SCOTO - Scottish Community Tourism Network and Identity

Project Summary

The grant will be used to create SCOTO - Scotland’s Community Tourism Network - addressing a core leadership gap identified through the HIE funded Communities Leading in Tourism pilot programme in 2020-21.  SCOTO is being established to represent and provide strategic leadership for this growing sector; operate a forum for networking, collaboration and peer-learning; increase public awareness of community led tourism in its many guises; and give these enterprises the digital and onsite tools they need to attract and engage with socially conscious travellers. The overarching aim of SCOTO is to increase the contribution of tourism at a grass roots level and to firmly establish it as a force for good within host communities.

Lead Organisation

Rural Dimensions Ltd

Amount awarded

£63,075

 

Project Name

Our City, Your Stories

Project Summary

This innovative digital sales tool solution will help to attract visitors and increase turnover in low season. It will allow the easy online purchase of a Mercat walking tour and tickets to selected local attraction partner (s). It will also include a new ‘pay it forward’ option to donate a free tour or money to local social enterprise partner, Grassmarket Community Project (GCP).

 

Lead Organisation

Mercat Tours Ltd

Amount awarded

£45,350

 

Project Name

Go Rural E-Commerce Project

 

Project Summary

The grant will support the development of a new Go Rural website – Scotland’s first portal for booking ‘agri-tourism’ farm experiences across Scotland. This will help to ensure Scottish Agritourism businesses are fully online and bookable through our exciting new platform. This will be the only website in Scotland where you can access and buy farm food, drink and experience

Lead Organisation

Scottish Agritourism

Amount awarded

£54,550

 

Project Name

Collective Technology Pilots for Scottish Visitor Attractions.

 

Project Summary

This innovative technology pilot will support Scottish visitor attractions. The pilot is specifically designed to drive the recovery of groups of leading visitor attractions through the direct implementation of new digital technologies within their businesses.

 

Lead Organisation

Traveltech for Scotland (As part of Edinburgh Innovations Ltd at the University of Edinburgh)

 

Amount awarded

£67,625

 

Project Name

Ayrshire food producer / product to consumer link tool

 

Project Summary

This project will create an Ayrshire wide food and drink database and directory encompassing all enterprises from farm to fork. It will also include the products they supply, where they are available to buy and are used by hospitality providers.

 

Lead Organisation

The Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

Amount awarded

£18,200

 

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) Projects

 

Project Name

South of Scotland’s Stories Experience Collection - Making Great Memories in the South of Scotland.

 

Project Summary

This project will identify and develop experiences across the south of Scotland that recognise the region’s literary and cultural icons. As we approach the Year of Stories in 2022, this project will celebrate the area’s links to world renowned writers such as Burns, Scott and Barrie as well as telling the stories of the local communities and their ongoing influence on the region and landscape. The grant funding will help to ensure that visitors have truly iconic and memorable experience that will last a lifetime and draw them back to the area to visit time and time again.

Lead Organisation

South of Scotland Destination Alliance

Amount awarded

£58,500

 

Project Name

Eat S W Scotland

 

Project Summary

This project will create a Dumfries and Galloway food, drink, hospitality and food tourism interactive map with itineraries and suggested tours that will encompass all enterprises in the sector from farm to fork. It will also include the products they supply and where they are available to buy as well as highlighting those that offer site visits and tours.

 

Lead Organisation

Eat S W Scotland

Amount awarded

£21,696

 

 

 

 

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