Report Predicts Growth For Tourism In Caithness and Sutherland
4th December 2010
A report for Highlands and Islands Enterprise says that visitor numbers in Caithness and Sutherland could increase by more than 30% over the next ten years.
The study was carried out for the social and economic development agency to look at current and future leisure and business demand to help accommodation providers in the area plan for growth.
The report presents low and high growth forecasts based on the research undertaken within two categories: hotels; and B&Bs and guesthouses.
The variance in figures takes into account the impact of the decommissioning of Dounreay, the growth of renewables for business tourism, the redevelopment of John o'Groats and the expected increase of domestic and international visitors.
Morag Goodfellow of HIE, commented:"The report highlights the likely hike over the next 18 months around Thurso while the bidding process for the parent body at Dounreay is decided. As you would expect it also says that by 2025 the business generated through Dounreay will fall away - however, the development of the energy sector and activity in the Pentland Firth could have the capacity to replace that business by then.
"The report says we are going to see growth in accommodation demand in the area. Most importantly for providers the report says that to take full advantage of this opportunity we will have to see an increase the number, quality and range of accommodation in the area.
"Visitor experience is vital. Are we offering clean, friendly, quality accommodation, do we have wi-fi, can guests arriving late get something to eat? These are all things that modern day travellers expect and some of the feedback from visitors and included in the report indicates that some establishments have work to do in this area."
With the decommissioning of Dounreay, HIE is working with Highland Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, business and the community to deliver change in Caithness and North Sutherland. Tourism has been identified as a key sector which can add to the economy.
"HIE wants the numbers of innovative, customer focused tourism facilities we already have to grow and will support ambitious Caithness and North Sutherland businesses to make more of our resources and assets. For those seeking practical help now we are about to deliver a development programme which aims to stimulate, challenge and encourage the area's tourism businesses."
The 'Ambitious for Tourism Caithness and North Sutherland Development Programme' will provide businesses and tourism related enterprises with a series of opportunities to increase knowledge and understanding of the tourism sector through access to: specialist advice; examples of best practice; and sector intelligence, including signposting resources available to help improve business performance.
Full details of the programme are available by contacting Rachel Skene at Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Read the full report at www.hie.co.uk
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans. The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland.
The next areas where fibre broadband is rolling out across Scotland have been announced by Digital Scotland partners today. See the release here http://bit.ly/fibrenext Local area and progress detail for Highlands and Islands areas are as below: Latest independent figures from Think Broadband confirm 75% coverage across the Highlands and Islands region.
The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick. New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
An Aberdeen oil and gas company that located its manufacturing operation to Lybster in Caithness says it is delighted with the results. Torque machine manufacturer Enerquip secured £60,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the £240,000 initial capital equipment and employment costs at Lybster.
Influential decision makers and buyers from creative industries around the world will meet Scottish businesses and individuals when they take part in XpoNorth in Inverness this week. Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the European Regional Development Fund and Creative Scotland, XpoNorth is now firmly established as Scotland's leading creative industries festival.
Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise announced. The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MP, today announced the appointment of Amanda Bryan, Ailsa Gray, Dr Robert McIntosh and Belinda Oldfield, as Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands new to exporting or looking to move into new markets are invited to a ‘Doing Business in France' event in Inverness next week. Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the free information and advice event will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel from 9:30am to 1:30pm on Tuesday 7 June.
Confirmation that SSE is to go ahead with its investment in the Beatrice Offshore Wind project has been welcomed by both of Scotland's economic development agencies. The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm.
Economic development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has reported a successful year of investment and job creation in the region for 2015/16 - its 50th anniversary year. Year-end figures compiled by HIE show an estimated 855 jobs are expected to be created or retained in the region, as a result of HIE's investments last year, 87 of these in Caithness and Sutherland, 17 of which are in fragile areas.
Energy & Business Services: As previously covered in this update Atlantis Resources Ltd has now completed the acquisition of tidal energy assets from Scottish Power Renewables. http://renews.biz/102590/atlantis-seals-tidal-expansion/ I was delighted to meet Cameron Smith of ARL this week, and to take him to meet Scrabster Harbour Trust in a week that the port was very busy with large oil & gas industry vessels (see our online blog page for pictures).
[Printer Friendly Version]