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Hamilton
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French Duncan

Key research project into Scottish tourism sector’s rising costs launches today

14 June 2017

STA Research Picture Heading

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the industry body for tourism businesses in Scotland has today announced the launch of a new research project to gain a clearer insight into the impact of the rising costs on Scotland’s tourism sector. 

The organisation has commissioned Assenti Research and EKOS Ltd to undertake the ‘Tourism & Hospitality: The Growing Cost of Doing Business’ project which will provide greater clarity around how businesses and sectors will be affected by costs that the industry has had to contend with and absorb over the last three years; costs which are at unprecedented levels such as the National Living Wage, pension auto-enrolment, business rates, apprenticeship, immigration and insurance premium levies and inflationary costs. 

The research will be undertaken over a four-week period with the results analysed over the summer.  The findings will be presented to Scottish and UK government officials in September.

Speaking about the reasons why the organisation has commissioned the research project, Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA commented:  “Our reason for doing this research now comes from the need to demonstrate to all governments and local authorities that despite positive increases in visitor numbers in recent years, there are a number of costs that have steadily increased over the last three years disproportionately to the level of growth. Many have described this as a ‘perfect storm’, which is affecting their financial sustainability.” 

He added; “The aim of the project is to demonstrate the reality of how these costs and other increases are impacting on tourism and hospitality businesses’ potential to invest in the quality of the product and their workforce whilst remaining competitive and most importantly, sustainable.   

The research is being supported by leading Scottish law firm Anderson Strathern and chartered accountancy and business advisory firm, French Duncan.

Paul Brown, Head of the Food & Drink Sector Group at Anderson Strathern said:  

“The tourism industry is hugely significant for Scotland. Research of this nature is critical to allow business and government to establish the real position for organisations operating in tourism. From there, the industry can properly plan for the future, anticipating all of the costs and the effect of significant changes affecting the sector, from the future availability of staff to the real costs associated running such a business and survival in a competitive global market.” 

Ian Bremner, Hotel Accounting Director at French Duncan commented; “We can only gain a real understanding of the impact of these costs if we capture and present the costs as a complete picture, rather than individual examples which is why such a rigorous approach has been taken to conducting the project. From the research we will establish a baseline to quantify costs across the industry, and once analysed we hope to be able to illustrate how costs have risen over the last three years and provide evidence that further increases will negatively impact the future success of the Scottish tourism sector.” 

The outcome of the STA’s initial discussions with Scottish and UK government officials and the final report from the research will be made available at the STA Autumn Conference on 3rd October.

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Press contact: 

Mhairi Clarke 

Communications Manager 

Scottish Tourism Alliance 

Tel: 0780 955 8375 

Email: mhairi.clarke@stalliance.co.uk