The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 10 January 2008

New whisky website drams up business for Ayrshire hotels

A NEW website, geared to help Scotland's hospitality and tourism sector reap more economic benefit from the nation's most famous tipple, has been launched by ScotlandWhisky, the national whisky tourism initiative.

The new site has been developed and enhanced to help the growing number of 70 ScotlandWhisky Embassy members, such as Ayrshire hotels Westin Turnberry (pictured above) and Piersland House in Troon (pictured below) to promote their whisky expertise and encourage tourists to become one of over a million that visit a distillery each year. Boasting the best of latest online resources, the site will now offer dynamic maps of all the hotels and distilleries involved, a tourist photography sharing gallery and online bookable whisky tours.

The site is part of an enhanced membership package of benefits which have been further developed by the organisation to coincide with a membership fee being introduced.

Chris Conway of ScotlandWhisky commented: "Online support is just one of the many benefits on offer to tourism and hospitality businesses joining our network of Whisky Embassies. Many of our members report a significant increase in whisky sales as a direct result of employing staff who we have past through our whisky School and we are confident that those sales translate into satisfied customers who will either visit again or recommend Scotland to friends and family."

Scottish Enterprise tourism project manager Katrina Morrison commented: "Scotch Whisky is an iconic product which offers the potential to grow tourism revenues by raising awareness of Scotland as a tourism destination and also through the development of a positive and exciting experience of Whisky for existing visitors.

"Having knowledgeable staff is a key component of providing that memorable experience and we hope that this recruitment tool will help Scotland's tourism industry staff their bars and restaurants with enthusiastic and well-informed ambassadors for Scotland and the whisky industry."

With Scotch Whisky widely recognised as one of the country's most valuable tourism assets, the ScotlandWhisky initiative was launched four years ago to promote and develop whisky tourism in Scotland.

The select group of embassies mainly comprises hotels which pride themselves on employing staff who are educated and knowledgeable in the sales and service of Scotch whisky and who can offer an environment which is favourable to whisky appreciation.

Criteria required to become an Embassy include a minimum accommodation rating of three stars, an extensive range of Scotch Whisky, a conducive ambience to whisky appreciation and a select number of staff who successfully pass the Scotch Whisky School qualification. Embassies are encouraged to offer additional experiences for whisky appreciation such as whisky evenings, nosings and tastings and stays at embassies, which you can book online on the VisitScotland website

The ScotlandWhisky initiative is a partnership between the public and private sectors with the aim of exploring where the tourism and Scotch Whisky industries can work together to realist mutual commercial benefits. The project is financed by the Scotch Whisky Association, The Scotch Whisky Experience, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland.

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