Angus Business Breakfast – Making the Most of Tourism Events

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The British Open comes to Carnoustie Golf Links in July next year, bringing with it a significant tourism impact to the area. To highlight and discuss what this and other major events in the area could mean for local businesses; BusinessAngus hosted a business breakfast on the 8th March at the newly refurbished Kirriemuir Golf Club.

Our ‘roving reporter’ Gail Forbes was at the meeting, which had over 50 people attending, including 2 other DAVAA members. There were only 4 accommodations represented and a low turnout could be due to the difficulty many of us, who provide accommodation, have in getting away to events held during our own breakfast service times. But that’s where DAVAA can help, by reporting back vital information you might miss.

Speakers on the day were Torquil Macleod from Event Scotland, Craig Simpson from Jigsaw Media, Martyn Moore from Hamish’s Hoggs and Debbie MacCallum from Tourism St Andrews.

Debbie MacCallum spoke about getting everyone involved in St Andrews to maximise the Open there in 2015. This included volunteers going through World Host training then working as advisors/helpers for 2.5 hours a week or so. They also launched ‘Ask Andrew’ which worked very well and is still going. (Ask Angus?) They had banners on lamposts and signs to mark a walk round St Andrews to enhance the visitor experience. Shops opening times were extended and although the shopkeepers took some convincing and were not keen to start, increased sales saw them embrace the idea. They also received an advertising kit to display in shop windows from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews which enhanced the theme.

Martyn for Hamish’s Hoggs spoke of his work and how he has networked his socks off. His endeavour has been rewarded as he is about to roll out his 3rd fish and chip van whilst still doing really well with hog roasts.

Craig Simpson from Jigsaw Media spoke of his work on  social media for Carnoustie Country, growing Facebook likes from 1,000 to 4,500 organically.

Torquil from Event Scotland was keen for Carnoustie Country to get in touch with the R & A now so the area doesn’t miss the opportunity for collaboration  leading up to the Open in 2018 and beyond.

Jane Taylor was saying that Angus Council and Carnoustie Country have developed a Marketing Plan for the Open which just needs signed off by the R& A. We look forward to hearing about this once it happens. The R & A also has a Legacy Fund available for sustainable projects.

Millie Clarke from Angus Council  encouraged people to sign up for the digital workshops in March/April (see Events page) and also ensure they are signed up for their website for updates.  She highlighted the importance of tourism businesses being aware of what’s happening locally, and one good resource is the monthly Visit Angus enewsletter which currently goes out to over 3,000 people. Our members, who haven’t already, may want to sign up to it to receive a monthly reminder of what’s going on locally – https://www.visitangus.com/subscribe

Millie also mentioned the Angus Visitor Survey, which will give Angus a really good profile of who the visitors are, where they come from and what they do when they’re in Angus. If any of our members would be willing to share their customer databases with LJ Research, or add the following link to their website – https://www.visitangus.com/homepage/198/angus_visitor_survey, this could really help to boost the responses. If members would like any advice about how to add the sign up function for the survey to website, Lynsey Pattie (PattieL@angus.gov.uk) can help.