Archive for the ‘Tourism news’ category

Participation bonus available for fully funded Hospitality Supervision Modern Apprenticeships!

January 18, 2010

Success Training Scotland are making available a large financial incentive to tourism employers who enrol candidates on a fully funded Hospitality Supervision Modern Apprenticeship with them before mid-March. To find out more about this unmissable opportunity, please contact Anneliese on 0845 1300074


Local produce on sale at the St Andrews Festival Market this Sunday!

November 24, 2009

A special local produce market is to be held in St Andrews as part of this weekend’s festival activities.

The event will take place in Logies Lane and Church Square, on Sunday 29th November, 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

Produce on offer includes:






Fruit drinks

Home baking

Organic vegetables

There will also be an opportunity for people to order fresh turkeys for Christmas from a north Fife producer.

Many of the participants already take part in the monthly farmers’ markets in the Argyle Street Car Park, but the one-off Festival event is coming right into the heart of the central shopping area.

It has been organised through Fife Farmers’ Markets and sponsored by the recently formed St Andrews Partnership.

Market co-ordinator Jimmy Wilson said that a number of businesses from across Fife and beyond would be taking part, and were delighted to able to support the Festival.

“This is a great chance for Festival visitors to stock up for the festive season or buy gifts, and we hope to add something a little bit different to a fantastic programme of events” he said.

The market runs on Sunday November 29, between 1.30 and 4.30pm.
Further information about the festival can be obtained here.

Free VIP Networking Breakfast to launch Springboard Scotland’s Business Partnership Programme

November 9, 2009

Springboard Scotland would like to invite you to their VIP Networking Breakfast and launch of their Business Partnership Programme. This event is taking place on the 24th November, 8.30am – 10.30 am at Prestonfield House, Edinburgh. Please download the invitation below, and RSVP to Carolyn Baird if you would like to attend.


Despite recession, China’s online travel market shows strong steady growth

November 4, 2009 has published this summary of a PhoCus Wright report stating that China’s population is displaying a new interest in booking international travel, especially using the internet. Click here to read the summary on the website, or scroll on down.


Despite the global recession, the online travel marketplace in China is growing rapidly and PhoCusWright predicts online travel revenue will increase by 19% in 2009.

In its first-ever Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China report, PhoCusWright reveals that China’s online travel space currently totals approximately US$6.9 billion, accounting for about 11% of the country’s entire travel market. Due to a variety of factors, the online channel is expected to continue on a strong growth trajectory, and by 2011 will account for about 20% of the total market.

PhoCusWright’s Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China explores China’s dynamic (and frequently misunderstood) travel market. Based on an in-depth, six-month research study, the report sizes the Chinese travel market by major segment and identifies key trends and developments. It also reveals some of the unique behavior patterns of Chinese travelers, and unveils what makes China’s travel market unlike those in the West and other markets in Asia.

According to Ram Badrinathan, PhoCusWright’s general manager, Asia Pacific, “China is rapidly emerging as the largest travel opportunity in Asia, but that doesn’t make the entire market accessible to entrepreneurs. The key parts of the Chinese travel value chain are in varying stages of deregulation and government control. It is vital to understand the triggers that will allow for innovation and opportunity. What is really exciting is the vast potential represented by Chinese online consumers, as the country emerges as the largest broadband user market in the world. This will create a unique dynamic in the travel buying process.”


If this interested you, you might also like this post, featuring TravConsult’s blog about how best to welcome Chinese tourists.

European online travel market holds steady in 2009

October 28, 2009

This report about the online travel market’s performance in 2009 suggests that tourism businesses should continue to focus on ensuring that they are as accessible as possible, especially during the slow climb out of recession.  Read it on the website by clicking here, or scroll down.


European online travel bookings are projected to grow slightly by 0.6% in 2009 according to PhoCusWright. Internet distribution channels continue to outperform the European travel market as a whole, which is projected to decline by 10% in 2009.

“As Europeans seek to make the most of their treasured time off this year, they are increasingly using online options to plan the best holiday for their budget,” says Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. “Online travel agencies are weathering this economic storm better than any other booking channel.”

While the online leisure and unmanaged business market was able to stay in positive territory in 2009, it is clearly suffering from the drop in travel demand. The double-digit growth seen in recent years is gone and is not expected to return in the next several years. It is the strong performance of online travel agencies (OTAs) that will drive online growth as supplier Web sites will decline slightly for the year. OTAs are projected to reach gross bookings of €23 billion in 2009, with much of the growth driven by hotel products.

“Even in the bleak travel backdrop of 2009, some travel companies are thriving—and not all of them are OTAs. Countercyclical trends bolster these companies while exacerbating decline for others. Those dependent on business travelers are among the hardest hit,” adds Rheem. The European corporate travel market is projected to decline by 17%, substantially more than the total market decline. As companies have slashed their travel budgets in response to their own challenges, both transaction volume and prices have fallen significantly across markets and travel verticals.

Economic recession and weakened consumer spending have affected all European nations and exposed strengths and weaknesses among each regional market and industry segment. PhoCusWright’s European Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition is a comprehensive analysis of the European online travel market. It includes an overview of the European market and detailed analysis of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia and Spain.


What do you think? Have you seen a rise in online bookings this year? To what do you attribute the change?

Business travellers turn to TripAdvisor

October 20, 2009

The Business Travel section of the Times published this short report recently about the changing trends in trust within the travel industry. It seems that more business travellers than ever are looking to TripAdvisor to guide their accommodation choices.  Maybe this is a good time to register your business online, and participate in the discussions about your customers’ experiences? Click here to read the article on the Times Online site, or scroll down for the full report.


More than a quarter of all business travellers use sites such as Tripadvisor when making their choice of hotel, according to new research. The research also showed that 21% of those surveyed felt that the advice given by their business travel agency was unreliable.

Market research agency BDRC found that 28% of a thousand business travellers surveyed actively seek advice on websites featuring consumer reviews. Of those that do, 41% decided to change their original hotel choice after reading about other travellers’ experiences. However, around 13% believe that the opinions on such review sites are “unreliable”.

Personal recommendations are still the most trusted form of advice, with 40% of respondents citing them as “very reliable”.

Matt Costin, director of hospitality research at BDRC said “These figures show that the influence that sites featuring consumer reviews and opinions have is absolutely huge… Word of mouth is now the number one marketing channel. Hotel brands need to work hard to ensure that they deliver excellent service as their guests have the potential to be their most influential marketing tool by sharing their experiences with others.

“In the past a guest’s role as either an advocate or detractor was limited to their personal network but now as more and more business travellers log on to read user-review sites, the impact they are having on corporate bookings is enormous.”

The Scotsman: ‘Global tourism’s top brass choose Scotland for holiday’

October 19, 2009

This article from the Scotsman appeared this morning on my Google Reader feed. It seems that this is an exciting week for Scottish tourism, as well as for St Andrews, as a group of 78 executives from the luxury travel planning industry descend on our country to experience the best of what it has to offer, and hopefully to encourage them to recommend Scotland as the destination of choice for their clients. Read on, or click here to view the article on the Scotsman site.

SCOTLAND’S tourism industry is set for a huge boost next week, after it emerged that dozens of the world’s most influential travel gurus are to spend a week sampling the best the country has to offer.
Industry leaders hope for a multi-million-pound spin-off after Virtuoso – an invitation-only network of international advisers and agents – picked Scotland for its annual event to reward its top executives.

The “luxury travel” experts specialise in sourcing the most exclusive hotels, rare experiences and privileged access in leading destinations around the world.

The 78 executives are coming to Scotland from the likes of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia, after racking up some £1.1 billion worth of business over the past year.

It is hoped the week-long venture will lead to more super-rich business people and celebrities flocking to Scotland in future years, after VisitScotland beat off competition from nine other destinations to host the influential party. Previous locations include India, Peru and Prague.

Next week’s programme will see the group at Stirling Castle enjoying a medieval banquet created by chef Nick Nairn, a private tour of Scone Palace, golf at St Andrews and a cookery demonstration by chef Andrew Fairlie at the Gleneagles resort.

Other activities include horseriding, fly fishing, falconry, shooting, country dancing and whisky tasting.

The Virtuoso network has about 6,000 members, involving about 300 agencies in 22 countries. It is hoped next week’s showcase event will lead to a rise in the number of affiliated businesses in Scotland.

They already include Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh and the Westin Turnberry Resort.

The group is staying at Gleneagles Hotel, where a “house party” theme has been created to encourage the group to bond and help them to feel “at home” in the five-star resort.

Matthew Upchurch, chief executive of the US-based network, told The Scotsman: “Although most of our party will have been before, this is a real opportunity for them to experience for themselves how things have developed and what kind of experiences are on offer at the moment.”

Scotland’s tourism minister Jim Mather added: “We are honoured to welcome this prestigious group of visitors, who will be experiencing the best of what our country has to offer.

“Scotland needs to be alive to tourism opportunities and continue to look to new and innovative ways of encouraging tourists to come to our great country.”