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 Helping the tourists before they get here.

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David Win



Posts : 7
Join date : 2008-12-01
Age : 53
Location : Dornie

PostSubject: Helping the tourists before they get here.   Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:29 pm

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with Grumpygeorge Evil or Very Mad from Skyelark down at Armadale. Just like us here at Eilean Donan, he's based at one of the "gateways" to Skye & Lochalsh. We were talking about the visitors he's spoken to this season and the incredible number of people who say "so this is Skye, what can we do?" or "We're going to do Skye today!" or "What's the best thing to see?"

Interestingly, we get exactly the same the same type of questions/statements at the castle, and it would appear that lots of others do too. There seems to be a lack of understanding firstly, as to how big Skye & Lochalsh actually is, and secondly, how much there is to do here. confused

Is this because, visitors don't do enough research before they get here, or is it because our message is not hitting the mark? If we want the visitor to stay in our area for longer, how can we make them better aware of all our treasures and improve their planning long before they ever get here?


ps. Grumpygeorge is really not that grumpy at all!
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grumpygeorge



Posts : 1
Join date : 2008-12-09
Location : By the pier, Armadale, South Skye

PostSubject: grumpy reply   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:17 am

hello david, i enjoyed the conversation with you at the forum. i suspect that we will enjoy many more in the future.

business; a spellcheck software here would probably be apprec`javascript:emoticonp('Rolling Eyes')


i suspect that there are a few minor issues that could be improved.javascript:emoticonp('scratch')

regards
grumpygeorge
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Nigel Hindley



Posts : 5
Join date : 2009-01-24
Location : Portree

PostSubject: Helping the tourists before they get here.   Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:49 pm

David Win wrote:
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with Grumpygeorge Evil or Very Mad from Skyelark down at Armadale. Just like us here at Eilean Donan, he's based at one of the "gateways" to Skye & Lochalsh. We were talking about the visitors he's spoken to this season and the incredible number of people who say "so this is Skye, what can we do?" or "We're going to do Skye today!" or "What's the best thing to see?"

Interestingly, we get exactly the same the same type of questions/statements at the castle, and it would appear that lots of others do too. There seems to be a lack of understanding firstly, as to how big Skye & Lochalsh actually is, and secondly, how much there is to do here. confused

Is this because, visitors don't do enough research before they get here, or is it because our message is not hitting the mark? If we want the visitor to stay in our area for longer, how can we make them better aware of all our treasures and improve their planning long before they ever get here?


ps. Grumpygeorge is really not that grumpy at all!

Hi David,

I beleive the reason for them being unprepared is due to the lack research because of a lack of good websites that offer good unbiased information.

As an accommodation provider we do everything we can to personally recommend what their is to do here but thas only once they are here. We do obviously have links on our site but a problem is that most sites with tourist info are funded by accommodation providers advertising.

As an accommodation provider we are not going to have links to information sites with 100's of other accommodation on. A lot of interesting services and excursions are also run by accommodation providers and I have said to numerous of these that if they didnt promote their accommodation I would link to their site and im sure a lot of others feel the same.

We actually do link to some of these sites as the information on them is good but I do beleive that there still is no top notch resource with easy to find info.

Anyway I beleive that is part of the problem for what is worth and a separate body promoting the area that isnt funded by advertising accommodation is the answer for more informed tourists.

Nigel
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Posts : 16
Join date : 2008-12-01

PostSubject: Re: Helping the tourists before they get here.   Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:22 am

Nigel,

Interesting viewpoint.

I think one of the primary ideals of Skye & Lochalsh Tourism Forum is the importance of developing much better collaboration between all tourism related businesses. For far too many years, too many people/businesses have been rowing their own boats in splendid isolation, waiting and hoping for things to change or improve, often without actually doing anything about it.

In the last three months, I've witnessed more examples of effective collaboration between some Skye & Lochalsh businesses that I would ever have dreamt possible in the past, and it is clear that many people are waking up to the fact that there is strength in numbers and are becoming increasingly keen to abandon previously held virtues of self-protectionism.

I would pose the question, does the biggest threat to a successful tourism industry in Skye & Lochalsh stem from the fact that we have to compete with each other, or that we compete with other regions of Scotland, other regions of the UK, Europe, The World?

In my view we already have to operate in a very competitive global arena, if we can't sort out some of the issues amongst ourselves, for the collective good and a vibrant industry, what chance do we have of competing with everyone else? Sometimes you have to look at a bigger picture, no?
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Nigel Hindley



Posts : 5
Join date : 2009-01-24
Location : Portree

PostSubject: Re: Helping the tourists before they get here.   Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:04 pm

Hi Admin?

I do agree with you, yes we should all look at the larger picture. You have gone off at a tangent though slightly - this was my reply to why I think we have tourists that dont know much about the area? whether its right or wrong that anyone might not link to sites because of this is a different issue.

My post was partly playing devils advocate and partly point out what I do think is responsible for a lack of knowledable tourists. Im sure that a lot of accommodation providers do think like this and who can blame them?

I agree with collaboration but competiton is higher amongst accommodation providers than say art gallerys. Tourists would maybe visit all galleris in the area but only stay in one accommodation.

Would any business, before they had a sale, direct their potential customers to their competitors before they had bought anything or made a booking. Would a castle for instance that put on weddings have links to a site that was loaded with other castles offering the same service?

I do think a resource independant of accomodation is the answer. We do have links to Skye.co.uk as we think its a great resource - too good for a potential visitor to miss but we are aware that we may lose a potential guest because of this, again why should we need to send a potential booking away from our site to another accommodation providers arms?

We should have good resources that are not funded by or driven by accommodation.
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Nigel Hindley



Posts : 5
Join date : 2009-01-24
Location : Portree

PostSubject: Re: Helping the tourists before they get here.   Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:13 pm

A for the question 'does the biggest threat to a successful tourism industry in Skye & Lochalsh stem from the fact that we have to compete with each other' My answer would be absolutely not - the fact we all have to compete makes the area more attractive as we all strive to make our business better than the competiton the result is an area rich with quality business's offering value for money. I believe competition should be encouraged along with the developemnet new and unique business ideas. I think in Skye and Lochalsh has still not had its day and needs a better organisation than Visit Scotland promoting the area. This is a world class destination and deserves to be marketed in this way.
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