Tourism businesses encouraged to apply for new business growth programme

A new programme has been designed to help tourism businesses in North-east Scotland realise their growth potential.

Developed by private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise, the Tourism Business Game Changer programme aims to support executives, managers and owners of tourism businesses in the region to grow their business by capitalising on ongoing investment in major infrastructure and evolving consumer trends.

Starting at the end of January 2019, the intensive programme has been developed with the tourism industry, for tourism businesses. Over five months, it introduces participants to interlocking business growth tools including one-to-one support and a best practice learning day. On completion of the programme, participants will have developed a business growth plan to support their future scale, expanded their knowledge of the local and national tourism support network, and have a clearly defined proposition that addresses their target markets. Twelve places are available on the pilot programme and up to two delegates per company can attend.

Jennifer Craw, ONE chief executive, said: “ONE and Scottish Enterprise have developed this unique programme in partnership and by working closely with VisitAberdeenshire, the content has been designed to give participants an in-depth understanding of how to grow their business by targeting new markets. The successful development of the North-east of Scotland’s tourism sector is essential to achieving our shared ambition of growing visitor spend in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to £1bn per year by 2023.”

ONE’s activity to strengthen and diversify the regional economy includes direct financial support to VisitAberdeenshire to grow visitor numbers and tourism revenues in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. ONE is the single largest funder of the destination management organisation, matching the combined financial contributions of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils with £795,000 of support this year.

Elaine Booth, tourism sector project manager at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Tourism is an important growth sector for Scotland, and the North-east is a popular destination for visitors the world over. We are proud to partner with ONE and VisitAberdeenshire to help local businesses maximise the opportunities this presents, giving them the right tools for future growth which will deliver economic benefits for the region.”

More information, including workshop dates, can be found here. Applications for the programme can be made online here and should be submitted by Friday, January 18. Interested parties can contact Elaine Booth at Scottish Enterprise.

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