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Tourism & Hospitality: The Growing Cost of Doing Business' (your input is needed)


At the STA Conference in March, we announced that that the STA would be conducting a piece of research to gain a clearer insight into the impact of the rising costs within Scotland’s tourism sector.  

We have now commissioned Assenti Research and EKOS Ltd to undertake this research and would be grateful if you could find time in your busy schedule to take part. 

Our reason for doing this research now comes from the need to demonstrate to all governments and local authorities that despite positive increases in visitor numbers in recent years there are a number of costs that have steadily increased over the last three years disproportionately to the level of growth. Many have described this as a ‘perfect storm’which is affecting their financial sustainability.

Over this period these costs include the National Living Wage, Business Rates, licensing, insurance premiums, auto-enrolment pension schemes, etc.

The aim of the research project is to demonstrate the reality of how these and other increases, coupled with currency devaluation, are impacting on tourism and hospitality businesses’ potential to invest in the quality of the product and their workforce whilst remaining competitive and most importantly, remain sustainable.  We can only gain a real understanding and demonstrate the impact if we capture and present the costs as a complete picture, rather than individual examples.

From the research we will establish a baseline to quantify costs across the industry, and once analysed we hope to be able to illustrate how costs have risen over the last five years and provide evidence that further increases will negatively impact our sector’s success.

Our intention is to discuss the findings with Scottish and UK Government Ministers and officials in September and propose ways to mitigate costs, explore a future fiscal framework and seek to influence amendments to policies that will allow Scotland’s tourism industry and wider visitor economy to be more competitive. 

The outcomes of these meetings and the final report will be made available to all at the STA Autumn Conference on 3rd October.

We would like to thank French Duncan whose financial and professional support has made it possible to commission this research and also thank you in advance for taking part in what will undoubtedly be one of the most important tourism projects in recent years - we appreciate your time, effort and commitment to supporting Scotland’s tourism industry.

This is our chance as an industry to influence our future. In order to do this, we need as many businesses as possible to get involved. Please take the opportunity to contribute and encourage others in your areas or sector to do the same.

We estimate that the survey should take around 20 minutes to complete; this is a ‘never been done before’ project and a unique opportunity for you to present evidence on behalf of your organisation to help build an accurate picture of the reality of the challenges faced by businesses within Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

You will be asked to provide financial information from the past three years; it will therefore be useful for you to have this to hand or you may wish to forward the questionnaire to your Accounts Department. 

Please note the survey asks for contact information to enable Assenti Research to re-contact you should they have any queries about the data you provide.  This contact information will then be removed from the data and all reporting and output provided to STA will be anonymised.  The research is undertaken in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct.

If you have any questions about the research please contact our comms team or if you have any queries about completion of the questionnaire please contact Sinead Assenti (0774 0911976 /

Complete the survey here: Tourism & Hospitality: The Growing Cost of Doing Business

Last Modified: Friday 07 July 2017 05:38
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