Tag: Scottish Tourism Alliance

End of the holidays – and the beginning of a busy end to 2014

After a summer of sun and fun – and of course the Commonwealth Games – things are about to return to normal with the end of the school holidays.

Merchant City FestivalIt tends to be this time of the year that businesses across the country refocus their efforts on a strong end to the calendar year, perhaps even taking a fresh look at opportunities to expand revenue further.

We’ve seen many terrific examples this year of how organisations across the country have done this by working co-operatively.

During the Commonwealth Games, the Merchant City Marketing Co-operative helped promote the events linked to the Commonwealth Games – as well as the wider calendar of events and attractions throughout the year.

The Food from Argyll consortium was busy too, helping feed hungry festival-goers and showcasing their produce stalls at BBC at the Quay and the popular Belladrum Festival.

For each of the individual businesses involved in both organisations, such exposure and opportunity may not have been possible on their own.

By coming together, however, they have opened up new markets, boosted sales and increased awareness of their brands, both collectively and as individuals.

And as the nights start to draw in, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how working in such a way can boost your business.

2014: An exciting time to collaborate

Marc Crothall picture

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is an independent trade body comprising trade associations, individual businesses, marketing and local area tourism groups who earn their living from tourism or have an active interest in tourism.

Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, explains why the organisation has partnered with this year’s Collaboration Prize at an exciting time for the Scottish Tourism industry.

The STA’s primary role is to lead, facilitate, co-ordinate and provide support to industry to help enable the successful delivery of the national strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) objectives and vision. Other activities undertaken by the STA on behalf of its members are to collaborate with and represent industry views to government and agencies, offer advice and information to its members and enable strong networking opportunities across industry sectors.

We are recognised by government and public agencies as a credible and fully representative ‘voice of the Scottish industry,’ which Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has also acknowledged, and we are pleased to have been asked to work in partnership with them as a representative of the Scottish Tourism Industry.

The STA is delighted to support CDS’s Collaboration Prize as it focus’ on one of the key elements that underpins the National Strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) “Collaboration”.

With the hook of a great £10,000 prize, the competition creates market opportunities, facilitates collaboration, endorses sustainable tourism and helps drive economic growth in the tourism sector. All of this contributes towards the Tourism Scotland vision in: “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people.”

Tourism is one of the most important industries in the Scottish economy, generating £4.3bn from overnight visitors, employing 185,900 within the tourism growth sector and attracting 15 million visitors in last year alone.

Now is an exciting time to be a part of the Scottish Tourism sector which will grow exponentially in the coming years with three landmark events taking place next year when Scotland “Welcomes the World” in 2014 with our second year of homecoming and two of the world’s biggest sporting events: the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

These events are key to the tourism industry as they will not only give us the opportunity to showcase Scotland to the world, but will provide the stepping stones to delivering the growth ambition set out in Tourism 2020. Many opportunities will also be generated for our home grown talent to work together to succeed on the world stage and compete in the world market.

With these vast opportunities on the horizon the STA is looking forward to seeing the calibre of entrants that emerge from the Collaboration Prize this year and how they plan on taking advantage of these forthcoming key events. Fundamental elements we will be looking for in the proposals are: 

  • Innovative and creative concepts
  • Collaborative opportunities identified
  • Sustainable plans and projects
  • Valuable contribution to the Scottish Tourism sector
  • And most importantly, vision for future expansion and growth

The STA is looking forward to seeing what the future stars of the Scottish Tourism Industry have to offer.

If you are not yet a member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance for more information on membership please visit www.scottishtourismalliance.co.uk or email jean.kilpatrick@stalliance.co.uk

Come together to make this a summer of success for your business

Gillian Kirton 02What do three farmers from Dumfriesshire, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish Screen facilities companies have in common? Answer they all won funds through last year’s launch of the Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) new Collaboration Prize.  Now the search is well underway to find 2013’s winning ideas. With less than one month to go until the competition closes, CDS Collaboration Prize project manager Gillian Kirton gives us the latest update. 

What do three Dumfriesshire farmers, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish screen facilities companies have in common? Answer: A desire to grow their business through collaboration.

As CDS Collaboration Prize project manager, it’s an exciting time for me.  With less than one month to application deadline, I’m waiting with baited breath to see the exciting and innovative ideas to come in this year.

Last year our competition was such a success that more than a dozen new business collaborations were established, often with different aims and objectives.  So here’s a wee taster of the sort of consortium co-operative that our prize has created:

  1. Scottish Woodlot Association was set up to enable individual foresters to rent small forest lots for timber production while helping landowners maximise their forestry potential.  It also gave them a way to share often expensive specialist equipment.
  2. iMAPcc offers dedicated team of drug discovery scientists, consultants and associates with complementary backgrounds and experience in small molecule and biopharmaceutical drug discovery.
  3. Burns Country Larder sees six Ayrshire producers of fine foods including haggis, cheesecakes, beers, deserts, chocolates and ice-creams collaborate to access events and shows all around the country.

But what about the farmers, musicians and screen facilities…our three worthy winners from 2012?

With the help of colleagues in Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with these three groups over the last year or so, joining them on their exciting journey as they form themselves as a consortium co-operative and reap the benefits of their £10k prize.  Do view the short videos of our winners – it’s great to hear it from the horse’s mouth as they say. Hopefully it will give you the incentive to consider how collaboration can help your business.

Screen Facilities Scotland brings together the best that Scotland has to offer in screen facilities.  Over 12 companies, with more to come on board, are now collaborating to secure contracts that may otherwise have been awarded to those south of the border or further afield.  I just love that one of the members created the Fatboy Slim Octopus of the London 2012 Olympics, and another filmed the James Bond and the Queen footage!

Screen Facilities Scotland video

Three farmers from the south west of Scotland (Castle Loch Foods Ltd) have come together to produce a range of luxury charcuterie products, using their individual high quality meats. This will see them access new markets, and hopefully export overseas in due course.

DG Farmers Cooperative video

Music Co-operative Scotland now gives us all an easy way to hire professional musicians for any occasion, offering any style of music you desire. All made possible through the formation of a consortium co-operative.

Musicians Cooperative Scotland video

This year we have increased our prize fund to £40,000 – up to four winners will each receive £5,000 consultancy support, and £5,000 cash to help implement their idea.  Even those that don’t win a prize can still access a comprehensive package of free support.

We are delighted to be working with our partners from Creative Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink and Scottish Tourism Alliance, and aim to attract really good entries from creative, food & drink and tourism businesses. In other words sectors that really lend themselves to collaboration.

However – our competition is of course open to all Scottish based companies regardless of sector.

So what are you waiting for?  The deadline for applications is 3rd August.  I personally can’t wait to see what comes our way this year…

Good luck.

Gillian