Opinion Former Article

BASC: Scotland's country sports businesses to learn how to attract more tourists

Country sports businesses in Scotland will be brushing up on their customer care skills this year so they can give visitors an even bigger welcome than usual.

A new one-day training course 'Excellence in Country Sports Customer Care', which has been organised by the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, aims to help sporting providers retain existing clients and attract new ones.

Alistair Rutherford of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group said: "Most of the Scottish ghillies, gamekeepers and deer stalkers already have excellent relationships with customers and are often the main reason why visitors return to the same locations year after year. These days visitors are looking for a destination that not only provides the sport but also an excellent level of customer care."

The course material is specific to country sports situations and has been developed in conjunction with a number of Scottish colleges. It is hoped that gamekeepers, ghillies, deer stalkers, sporting managers and estate managers will attend the courses which start in November 2007.

Tony Andrews, Chief Executive of the Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust, said: "I think this training programme is an excellent idea in helping the industry deliver what is such an important part of today's sporting experience".

Stewart Blair, a former head gamekeeper, will be delivering the courses initially to estates and providers within the Cairngorms National Park, basing the training at sporting locations throughout the area, before developing a greater number of training locations across other parts of Scotland

Details of the courses are available by emailing victoria.brooks@cstgscotland.com.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Photographs of the DVD launch at the Highland Field Sports Show are available please contact BASC Scotland on 01350 723226.

The Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group is a public and industry partnership set up to develop the potential of Country Sports tourism within Scotland.

The group is made up of: VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Association of Deer Management Groups, Association of Salmon Fishery Boards, British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Scottish Estates Business Group, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association.

The Scottish Country Sports Tourism industry is worth £200 million annually (5% of Scotland's total tourism income) to the Scottish economy. It supports the equivalent of over 14,000 full time jobs spread across Scotland's rural communities.

More Articles by British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) ...

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