i-—— ‘ ‘ 1 ’ INSIDE I
they have put it to good use - in 1984 they contacted 3,000 travel agents worldwide and held 60 overseas events, resulting in a jump from 8% ol the British tourist market in the record i yearol 1984 to 15% in 1985. This ‘ obviously, is a right the STB would be
_I 1 SCOTTISH TOURISM DILEMMA ,
‘ one thinks the proposals will be implemented. ‘ldon‘tthinkitwillcome ’
Followinglast week’s shock
3 announcement that the Scottish Tourist 1 Board should be scrapped and it’s
? almost uniformly hostile reception
north of the border, it now appears that : the tourist industry is not so full of
= gloom and despondency as first
a appeared. Indeed, it is generally
regarded that 1986 will be a bumper
year. On the lace of it, they have every
; rightto think so. As well as the usual
' summerattractions, Edinburghthis
yearholds the Commonwealth Games. which is hoped to bring in half a million spectators and ticket demand so far has beengood.
Alan Devereux, Chairman of the STB
saysthat he feels ‘fairly positive'
j about the coming year. ‘We should
have a good year’ he told me. ‘At the
moment we are receiving telephone enquiries about holidays in Scotland at j the rate of 12 a minute.’ Edinburgh
‘ Tourist Board are equally optimistic. Christine Irving, Assistant Tourist
Managersaid that she anticipated ‘a very busy year’. ‘Beservations are
; definitely up,‘ she added, ‘usually
I there is a lull atterthe festival, but this yearwe‘ve been very busy‘. This feeling is repeated on the West Coast. Going on last year's figures, 1986
definitely looks promising’, is the view
ofJim Murray, PRO of Glasgow Tourist ; Board. ‘As Glasgow gets more i coverage in the Press, more and more people beat a path to our door.‘ He ; pointed out that with eight of Scotland‘s top 20 tourist attractions in the city, 5 they had every right to feel optimistic. ‘ Glasgow is a recommended residential area for the Commonwealth Games, which also helps. ‘There has been great interest in our new booklet, Greater Glasgow - 1986, which is a good sign.‘ As far as the proposals contained in the Commons Select Committee report ‘Tourism in the UK‘ is concerned, the general feeling is one of ‘wait and see’. Both Glasgow Tourist Board and the Scottish Confederation of British Industry are unwilling to
to pass‘, said Mr Devereux. ‘There‘s
or commercially.’ There is also the curious anomaly contained in the report that, as well as the proposal to abolish the Scottish Tourist Board, it also praises it. ‘The interesting thing,‘
9 said STB Press and Publicity Manager,
Eddie Holmes is that in the report they
! said that we are doing very well
considering the short time we’ve had and we ought to have more money.‘ Mr Devereux agrees that it is strange. ‘Most people find the whole thing ratherweird‘ he told me, ‘they spend two pages listing all the good things we have done and then later on they say there is a grander scheme to have a centre of excellence in London.‘
The‘thinking behind this seems to be that Scotland gets a disproportionate amount of funding for its population, 30% of the British total. Mr Devereux‘s response to this is that we in Scotland generate more capital from tourism and this is all money well spent. In 1984, this amounted to a per capita income of £270 a year compared to England’s 2170. Mr Devereux also feels strongly that Scotland should receive some extra benefit because we are disadvantaged compared to England. The South East especially has all sorts of benefits from ferry and other traffic and the fact that, by and large, most airtravel is centred in that area. He also pointed out how the rating system in England was to their
; advantage. He cited the example of Blackpool, which generates ‘vast amounts‘ of money which goes to
support tourism - something we could
' not hope to emulate.
There are some in Scotland with
.3 strong criticisms of the STB who would ‘ dispute this fact; DrJohn Heeley ol the
Scottish Hotel School, part of Strathclyde University says that the STB is ‘potentially redundant‘ and should surrender its role to the Scottish Development Agency. The STB has also been accused of favouritism in the past concerning their allocation of aid
to major hotel groups. The Tourist Board admit thatthey are concentrating ' on marketing, something they feel they
can do better due to their expertise.
, They are also not without their fans, a
spokesman for the Scottish CBI said:
‘We think they're doing a good job and ' have raised Scotland’s profile . enormously.‘
The main concern, of course, was
that the STB would lose its hard fought j forright to touttor business abroad, 1 independent of the British Tourist
extremely loathe to give up. The American market especially is extremely lucrative - it has been calculated that American tourists coming here specifically to play golf are worth £10M a year. To this end, the STB have been campaigning extensively in North America. Eddie Holmes says that they aim to double the number of tourists from that part of the world. He does not hope to convince them to travel solely to Scotland, however. ‘We have to be realistic. The vast majority fly into Heathrow - but we can point out to them that the shuttle will get them to Scotland in an hour.’ The STB are not concentrating their attentions on America. They are also in the middle of
an extensive media campaign in England - utilising an unusual concept in the London Underground, where holidays are promoted without giving the destination. Those interested are instructed to phone for details. So far the response has been good. The number of inquiries is ‘constantly higherthan this time last year, ‘the crucial thing is to turn these inquiries into firm bookings.‘ Europe is also receiving the STB‘s attentions. In conjunction with the BTA, the Scottish Board is campaigning strongly in Europe, concentrating on Germany, France, Holland and Scandinavia. Mr Holmes reports that response has been good so far, especially from Germany and Scandinavia.
For all the STB’s efforts, there is much that is out of their control. Last year‘s figures, for instance, were disappointing after ‘84 because of that great non-event. the Scottish summer. Exchange rates are also vitally important to foreign holiday-makers. A recent EEC study on tourism within the community stated that transport is a majorconsideration in the planning of holidays and the low numberofllights into Prestwich Airport does not help, nor indeed does the appalling A74
route between Scotland and England.
Given that the Select Committee
report now appears less devastating thanfirstreportswould suggest, Mr e Devereux is still galled at its timing
especially. ‘lt’s distracting forour sales people abroad. The people we deal with know the British scene very
well. I can‘t see a major airline pulling
2 Smith and Jones pared down by Graham Caldwell.
4 Liz Lochhead takes on Tartuffe and even the politicians are translated. 6 Opera in the Cathedral. Carol Main investigates Glasgow‘s musical celebration ol‘SSU years ofchurch history. 8 IfReds are Wedged. who‘s singing the Blues'.’ Andrea Miller looks at the politics olpop. 10 Listings: Theatre 12. Music 16, Film 23. Art 2‘). Kids 34. Time Out 36. Open 37. Sport RS. Media 4i). Books 43.
22 Listen: What‘s the gossip?
46 Stylist: Lucy Ash fashions a piece of style from the cities.
Publisher Robin Hodge. Editors Nigel Billen. Sarah Hemming. Glasgow Editors Graham Caldwell. Lucy Ash, Design Simon Esterson. Publications Manager Sally Kinnes. Advertising Edinburgh Joanna Watson. Suzie
‘ Paterson. Advertising Glasgow Chris
Banks. Eleanor Harris. Typesetting Jo Kennedy and Hewer'l‘ext. Circulation Jane Ellis. Office Administration Fiona Murray Accounts Richard (}ray.Production EditorJohn R. MacWilliam. Production Assistants Paul Keir, Toby Porter. Alan Gordon. Art Alice Bain. Books Alan Taylor. Classical Music Carol Main. Film Allan Hunter, Trevor Johnston. Folk/Jazz Norman Chalmers. Kids Sally Kinnes. Media Allan Hunter. Sally Kinnes. Open Richard Norris. Bock (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott. Bock (Glasgow) Andrea Miller. SportJanei MacLean. Graham Caldwell. Theatre Sarah Hemming. Photos Clare Stephen. Hilary Paton. Chris Hill. Graphics Graham Johnston. Paul Gray. John MacWilliam. Camera Darien Printing Co.
Cover: Liz Lochhead Cover Design Simon Esterson. Cover Photo Tim
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commit themselves until something ‘ Authority. Admittedly, the £200,000 more definite appears. It does, budget the STB receives from the BTA however, seem to be the case that no has been seen as a mere gesture, but
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