Memorandum submitted by the Scottish Tourist
FOOT AND MOUTH UPDATE ON VISITSCOTLAND/STB
Tour operator and travel agent contacts in the
overseas markets are being encouraged to use information on www.visitscotland.com
and www.scotexchange.net to get accurate up to date information
on the FMD outbreak and actively reassure nervous clients (in
excess of 5,000 overseas contacts).
All visitscotland/stb international advertising
campaigns in our key overseas markets were launched prior to the
outbreak. Some 80,000 brochures have been requested and we are
working to convert these requests into sales.
With BTA we worked on the organisation of a
World Leaders Summit with major figures from the travel world
in the US, Canada and Japan. A dinner in Edinburgh onboard Britannia
was co-hosted by the First Minister, Henry McLeish, the Deputy
Tourism Minister, Alasdair Morrison, and the Secretary of State,
Helen Liddell. The dinner was attended by over 35 influential
members of the Scottish tourism trade. The visit included a tour
of the Highlands, a photo call at Cawdor Castle and a photo call
at Edinburgh Castle with the First Minister and Deputy Tourism
Visitscotland/stb events during Tartan Week
in the States were used to impress upon market contacts the "Scotland
is Open" message. Sean Connery was awarded the Scottish-American
Society William Wallace award and used the opportunity to declare
Scotland open and ready to welcome visitors. This was well reported
in the American and UK press.
The "Comeback Code" has been translated
into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch and is available
Copies of the Comeback Code will be sent out
with all BTA NYC literature requests on Scotland.
Visitscotland/stb launched a £65,000 plus
press advertising campaign to "Welcome Back" visitors
to the countryside and encourage them to use the "Comeback
Code". The adverts ran on 11 and 12, 14, 15 and 22 April
in the main news section of all Scottish press and regionals in
the North of England. A major London Underground campaign began
on 17 April as part of the previously postponed Spring Campaign.
The rest of the campaign is expected to kick off at the beginning
TV advertising begins on 30 April. Last year's
advert will go out nationally on satellite TV. A new TV advert
will begin the same day on Scottish terrestrial TV.
A direct response ad will begin in the North
East towards the end of May.
Since the beginning of the foot and mouth outbreak,
STB's Information Services Department has:
handled c 2,700 consumer enquiries
specifically about foot and mouth;
researched information on outdoor
activities, attractions, events etc open and being held during
the weeks involved so far;
compiled a statistics breakdown by
week, covering the origin of callers, their intended travel time
and their commitment to their intended travel;
distributed the Comeback Code to
ATBs and other public bodies and in response to enquiries from
arranged for additional out of hours
telephone answering in support of the Comeback to Scotland campaign
(9 am to 7.30 pm 9-13 April, 9 am to 8 pm 16-21 April and weekend
cover during office hours); and
begun process of transferring information
from Scotexchange to visitscotland (and instigated the appointment
of additional visitscotland staff to enable this process).
There are currently two aspects to foot and
mouth content on scotexchange.net: information for businesses
and information for consumers. The information for businesses
has been compiled as the outbreak has developed. It encompasses
prominent link from main homepage
to specific foot and mouth pages, including full text of the "Comeback
information relating to what STB/visitscotland
is doing via www.visitscotland.com;
request to tourism businesses to
notify our email@example.com e-mail address with positive
marketing and PR and general ideas
for businesses to use to offset the impact of foot and mouth.
Now also being used in SEn literature;
details and a download of the recovery
plan drawn up by STB/visitscotland;
request to businesses to inform us
of the impact of foot and mouth on their business by mailing our
list of foot and mouth contactsall
ATBs, STB, MAFF, SERAD;
the latest update from the Scottish
Tourism Forum; and
press releases from businesses relating
to the outbreak.
The information for businesses to use to pass
on to their consumers comprises the following:
link to visitscotland.com "pop
up" with latest details on what's open. This is being updated
everyday. The site has seen user sessions increase from 10,000-15,000
information from each Area Tourist
Board on what's open and closed in their area. This information
is also accessed through visitscotland.com. The scotexchange.net
team have to date been responsible for daily updates, however,
the information is due to move to visitscotland.com in order that
consumers remain on the site rather than being directed to the
business to business website (www.scotexchange.net);
full details of the comeback code,
including a print-friendly version;
link to BTA web site information;
list of useful contacts and links
through to their sites (NTS, HS etc);
all STB and ATB press releases relating
to the outbreak are in the Media Office section of our web site;
newsletter sent to trade associations
and those registered with the site informing them of the foot
and mouth pages on the site.
A system has been set up using an external news
agency (Scottish News Agency) who have offices in Edinburgh and
Dundee) to post four daily travel news bulletins complete with
up to the minute photography on www.visitscotland.com which users
view immediately when they log onto the site.
The strongest of these travel news bulletins
are then sent to all top daily newspapers in America, Germany,
France and Italy with the corresponding picture for use free of
STB has pushed for updated information to be
posted on the on-line media rooms of all BTA web sites overseas.
Contact has now been made with the editors of all BTA publicationsBritain
Calling etc so that Scotland is accurately and extensively reported
A press release on the web initiative has been
sent out to all press office contacts (estimated no. 1,200 publications)
An on-going cycle of consumer press releases
was sent out on Easter breaks, family attractions, etc with the
main focus at this stage being the UK audience. Coverage has been
obtained in a number of London based tabloids and broadsheets
as well as on-line newspapers.
We are also working on a number of initiatives
including a media dinner (for top travel editors only) designed
to push home key messages and drive support for factual, positive
travel stories, as well as placing case studies and celebrity
endorsement stories with key titles and radio stations.
Set up the FMD daily briefing.
Co-ordinated liaison with the Comeback Groupdistribution
of the Comeback message.
Regular e-mail updates to Scottish Executive
officials on the situation in each ATB.
Briefing to Ministers of the picture at national
and regional level, impressing upon Ministers the need to encourage
landowners to undertake the Risk Assessment Model.
Briefed MSPs on the value of tourism and the
need to lift the "Keep Out" message in areas that are
provisionally free or low risk.
Briefed MSPs on debates relating to the crisis
Handled in excess of 140 FMD related press enquiries
since outbreak began.
The short-term recovery plan is now underway
and includes a marketing programme, allocation for ATB marketing
campaigns, challenge funding, relief of ATB membership, relief
of STB quality assurance fees. A copy of the plan is available
A mid-term Recovery Plan is currently being
discussed with the industry and will be presented to the Scottish
Executive by the end of April.
A new foot and mouth team has been set up comprising
marketing, PR and new media experts to work on delivering the
short-term recovery plan.
Following Scottish Executive Guidelines, all
remaining QA invoices for the Financial Year 2000-01 were issued
on 4 April. A letter was sent with the invoice urging industry
customers to contact us if they had difficulty paying as a result
of FMD. Any client who informs us of current difficulties will
have their accounts put on hold until further notice.
BUREAU (SCB) (BUSINESS
SCB are preparing for US Meetings Week 23-27
April. The Sales Mission in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and
Washington is targeted at American associations, association management
companies, large US corporates and industry press. Tourism trade
partners are: Aberdeen Convention Bureau, Aberdeen Exhibition
and Conference Centre, Edinburgh Convention Bureau, Edinburgh
International Conference Centre, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley
Convention Bureau and Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.
The major European Incentive Business Travel
and Meetings Exhibition (EIBTM) takes place in Geneva 29-31 May
2001. 22 Scottish trade including convention bureaux, conference
centres, hotels, destination management companies, unique and