24 Mar 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 732, 2018 is now out!


Read blogs by writer:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Tom Walker
Leisure Media

Our guest writers:

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Brad Irwin
Partnerships development manager,
Natural History Museum

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Maria Zolotonosa
Project Manager,

Ian Taylor

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,

Lucy Schweingruber
Fundraising and Events Manager,

View all guest writers

Are you connected?

11 Dec 2015
by Eva McDiarmid, Chief Executive, ASVA
This is an opportunity to let government know just how the lack of consistent and reliable digital connectivity is restraining your potential.

Scottish Government has a ‘Scottish Business Pledge’ that it wants us all to sign up to. Within it there are a number of elements, some are simply good, common sense and some are just aspirational. But on the face of it, as over-arching points there is little to argue with, it’s just that the aspirational elements will remain just that unless government leads at a macro level.

Two of the points are uncontentious:

* Committing to an innovation programme
* Agreeing to pursue international business opportunities

As Scots, we believe these are in our DNA. After all was our tiny nation not at the forefront of the Enlightenment? And as a result of the Industrial Revolution, we were able to export goods (and services) across the world. Although, some of the latter we may now not be too proud of! So our pedigree in these areas is good.

Without stating the obvious, the world is now a very different place and globally competition is fierce. To support innovation and pursue international business opportunities, we need reliable and consistent digital connectivity. Regrettably in many parts of the country, this is not available.

Even looking at the regulator Ofcom’s map of mobile coverage alone there are many areas where this is poor or non-existent. And it’s not just mobile coverage, there are issues with bandwidth with Scotland having a higher than average number of Broadband ‘not spots’. Stay on the Ofcom website and check out how ell your region fares with broadband coverage. It’s quite a depressing picture outside the main conurbations in the Central Belt and the only apparent upshot is that things can only get better – hopefully!

Smartphones are now used by 61% of the population with a bias towards the younger and more affluent sections of society. In Scotland the use of tablets is 10% more than the UK average. As well as their primary function to make calls, 75% of us use phones (and tablets) for internet access, social media and emails. 62% use phones to take photos (and thanks to 4G, video content is increasing too). Online bookings using the phone now stand at 19% and this looks set to grow. But without full digital connectivity, we are not well placed to take advantage of advances in mobile technology which is becoming an increasingly important element of the overall visitor experience.

Last month at our annual conference, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing discussed the effect of patchy mobile technology might be having on members’ businesses, with ASVA Chair Douglas Walker. The best way to answer this question is to ask you directly and ask you to feed back the issues you have locally. In turn we will collate this information and at his request, Douglas will pass this to the Minister. You’ll need to let us have the name of your site, the postcode and a perspective of the operating issues resulting from inconsistent or non-existent mobile coverage.

This is an opportunity to let government know just how the lack of consistent and reliable digital connectivity is restraining your potential. 2016 is election year for Scottish Government and they will need to be seen to be supporting business to buy into the ‘Scottish Business Pledge’. So please take this opportunity to say it really as it is for you – your input may just help make the argument for more investment.

Email eva@asva.co.uk and we’ll share the findings too.

Tags: theme & waterparks  tourism  visitor attractions  sales & marketing  public sector 

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