Tourism businesses in north east Scotland seeking to increase growth are invited to apply for a place on the latest round of the Game Changer for Tourism Business programme.
This innovative programme, offered in partnership by VisitAberdeenshire, Opportunity North East and Scottish Enterprise, has already supported 30 diverse tourism businesses across the region since it launched in 2019.
Participating businesses are helped to identify their target markets, define customer and consumer demands and fine tune their delivery to provide the services and experiences visitors seek. The programme consists of seven day-long interactive workshops, mentoring, collaborative work and case studies and runs over four months. The usual £500 participation fee has been waived in recognition of the current trading climate.
A recent programme participant, Sarah Stephen of Barra Castle Ltd, said: “For any company seeking to grow and expand, the Game Changer programme gets my unconditional recommendation and in hindsight I should have done it sooner. I have learned how I can adapt my approach and interactions to get the best out of me and other people, enabling me to become a more effective leader.”
Mike Wilkes of Macdui Bike Tours, who completed the Game Changer programme last month, said: “The Game Changer programme has been a real inspiration to me. The course content helped me accelerate plans for my business and the course leaders provided extensive business insight.”
Fourteen spaces are available in the 2022 programme and Opportunity North East is providing additional funding, secured from the Scottish Government’s North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund, to increase its impact, including additional spaces on the programme, more mentoring and market insights, and potential for small development grants.
Chris Foy, CEO of VisitAberdeenshire said: “As the tourism sector continues to emerge from the challenges of the past two years, the Game Changer programme provides crucial support for local small and medium size businesses, enabling them to come out stronger and more resilient. It’s one of the ways we are helping to ensure the region’s position as a thriving, sustainable tourist destination which offers an exceptional visitor experience, delivering business growth and creating employment.”
Jennifer Craw, chief executive of Opportunity North East, said: “North east Scotland provides unique visitor experiences across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, from adventure tourism on the coastline and in the mountains to cultural attractions and world-class food and drink at source. Tourism is a significant sector in our economy with a key part to play in long-term diversification and sustainable business growth. This programme helps businesses to adopt a consumer and customer led approach to their development and growth. This is particularly important as the sector targets recovery in 2022. ONE is providing additional funding for the programme, secured from the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund, to support the new cohort of businesses.”
The next Game Changer programme will run from January to April 2022 and applications will close on 13 December 2021. Click here to apply.
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