Tourism & Hospitality: The Growing Cost of Doing Business

STA - Earlier this year, the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) announced that we 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 and auto-enrolment pension schemes.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the reality of how these and other increases 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, 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 influence amendments to policies that will allow Scotland’s tourism industry and wider visitor economy to be more competitive.

View the questionnaire here.
The outcomes of these initial 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 and Anderson Strathern 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.

If you have any questions about the research please contact our Comms team [email protected].

If you want to know more about how your data will be used, confidentiality or if you have any queries about completion of the questionnaire please contact Sinead Assenti (07740 911 976 [email protected]) or Jane Dixon ([email protected]).


A guide to completing the questionnaire

1.  The questionnaire will take between 30 mins to an hour to complete
2.  You do not need to complete all of the questions at the one time – you can save and come back to it.
3.  You will most likely need to request input from your Business Manager/Finance Department to answer some of the questions (you may wish to forward the questionnaire to them directly to complete)
4.  Some of the questions require you to refer to your accounts for the previous two years and the current financial year – you will therefore need the following to hand from these three years in order to complete the questionnaire:

· Number of staff

· Annual turnover

· Net profit

· Salaries/wages/drawings and dividends where they represent salary costs

· Pension contributions

· Staff transport/accommodation

· Rent/mortgage

· Utilities (Heat, light, water)

· Waste collection

· Insurances

· OTA Commissions

5. 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 (including business name) will then be removed from the data and all reporting and output provided to STA will be anonymised.

6. The research is undertaken in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. It is therefore the responsibility of Assenti Research to ensure that it is not possible to identify individual businesses from the reporting. Information about turnover, profit etc. will be used collectively to demonstrate the economic impact of rising business costs on the industry and at a sector level.


Take me to the questionnaire

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