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Tune into Tourism - Road to Recovery

Our Tune into Tourism programme, designed to help you and your business best prepare for the 2021 season and beyond.

2021 podcast series - Road to Recovery

Episode 20 – 26 May 2021: Rural and Community Tourism

After a year where everyone's world shrank dramatically, visitors are now 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. In the final episode of this tranche of Road to Recovery podcasts, we’re joined by Peter Syme, Adventure Specialist and Strategic Advisor, as well as Joan Bishop, Chair of the Dornoch Community Interest Company, to look at how things have changed post-covid, and how to tackle the new challenges rural destinations face in the coming season and beyond.

Episode 19 – 25 May 2021 Responsible Tourism

Consumers are looking for more information, openness & options around sustainability. In this episode, we are joined by Dr Harold Goodwin from the Responsible Tourism Partnership, as well as Paul Easto, Co-Founder of Wilderness Scotland, to discuss what the increasingly popular term ‘responsible tourism’ really means, the new challenges we face in a post-covid world, and discover some of the changes you could start to make within your tourism business.

Episode 18 – 24 May 2021 Events – Going hybrid and embracing change

In this episode, we’re joined by Judith Wilson of eventsbase.co.uk and eventit.org.uk. As events start to return in Scotland, albeit many in a hybrid form, we find out what that could mean for your business and how to embrace the change, as well as opportunities to collaborate to create new events or festivals in your own community.

Episode 17 – 21 May 2021 Re-connection

In this podcast we are joined by Nick Hall, Digital Tourism Think Tank, to talk about an unsurprising trend for 2021 - Reunion travel. People are desperate to get together with friends and family they haven’t seen for so long. But not being able to connect in person for the last year has driven all of our relationships online, so re-thinking how we communicate and interact with visitors in this new digital first era will be crucial. We discuss how to embrace change, cater to these guests and their new needs, plus collaboration and partnerships.

Episode 16 – 20 May 2021 Getting to Know the New Customer

Join us as we discuss new trends in customer behaviour along with Simon Calder, Travel Journalist, and Irene Roberts, Director at Expedia. We identify what customers are looking for, how they are booking, and how to turn ‘lookers into bookers’. From pricing, through booking windows, to managing expectations, we talk about the opportunity that exists this year to create new loyal domestic customers who will keep coming back.

Episode 15 – 19 May 2021 The Business of Re-Opening

In this episode, we are joined by Andrew Scott from Victus Consultancy, as well as Jo De Sylva, Chair of Visit Inverness Loch Ness and owner of MacGregors Bars and Bogbain Farm. We discuss how to re-think your offering and tackle concerns around pricing, creating packages, working with other businesses within your communities, and more!

Episode 14 – 18 May 2021 Staffing

In this episode, aimed at helping your tourism business emerge from a global pandemic, we are joined by David Cochrane from ‘Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland’ to discuss how to find, attract and keep great team members. From new pools of people to be looking at, to changing the work environment to appeal in what will be an employee’s market, as well as re-thinking some of the fundamentals of how you run your business in a world that has been forever changed.

Episode 13 – 17 May 2021 Wellbeing

In the first of 8 new episodes in this Road to Recovery series, aimed at helping your tourism business emerge from a global pandemic, we look at the most important aspect of any business – the people. After a year which has challenged our mental health like never before, we are joined by Gordon McIntyre from ‘Hospitality Health’ to talk about how to take better care of our staff, the signs to look out for, how to improve communication, and most importantly look after your own wellbeing too.





2020 podcast series 

Episode 12 - 27 November 2020

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!

Episode 11 - 20 November 2020

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 10 - 13 November 2020

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 9 - 6 November 2020

Road to Recovery is back with four more episodes throughout November! 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 8 - 31 July 2020

In this final episode of the Road to Recovery series, 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 7 - 24 July 2020

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 6 - 17 July 2020

As the tourism industry re-opens in Scotland, episode 6 of Tune into Tourism’s Road to Recovery podcast 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 5 - 10 July 2020

Tune into Tourism: Road to Recovery returns after a short break! Our host, Julia Sutherland is joined by VisitScotland’s Riddell Graham – Director of Industry and Destination Development, who outlines the ‘GoodToGoScotland’ scheme and how to become self-certified. Travel journalist Simon Calder also returns, to share with us how the industry is reacting in England and further afield.

Episode 4 - 5 June 2020

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 3 - 29 May 2020

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 2 - 22 May 2020

Episode 2 features Nick Hall, founder of Digital Tourism Think Tank and Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland’s Senior Tourism Insight Manager.

They discuss sustainability, the ‘new normal’ and the importance of involving communities to mitigate tourism impacts.


Episode 1 - 15 May 2020

Episode 1 includes insights from Travel Journalist and Broadcaster Simon Calder, and a review of VisitScotland's Weekly Insights Report by Chris Greenwood, Senior Insights Manager at VisitScotland.

We also discuss why digital communications is more crucial than ever right now and how social distancing could work in different business set-ups.