Donald Emslie introduces #ForeverEdinburgh

Donald Emslie is Chair of ETAG. This is a transcript of his introduction to Forever Edinburgh, 10th August 2020.

“Thank you taking the time to join us this morning. It’s an incredibly important time for the industry and I am pleased to see so many people taking the time to hear what we have to say.”

“It’s important that we all collaborate together.”

… it’s important that we all collaborate together …

“Your support and collaboration will be greatly appreciated for the greater good of this City.”

“We’ve been working hard on the development of a plan to support the recovery of Edinburgh’s tourism and hospitality sector from the tremendous impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Never before has our industry faced such a challenge and for that reason, we have had to think differently about how we as a City, collectively respond.”

“We recognised right away, the need to sensitively and responsibly encourage people back into the City, once we knew what was open.”

“It’s clear that City tourism across the World has been particularly hard hit, and Edinburgh is no exception.”

… Edinburgh’s key tourism strengths  are now major challenges …

“Many of what were the city’s key tourism strengths only a few months ago are now major challenges for example, the volume of international visitors for the tourism and conference market and of course the Edinburgh International Festival which only last night launched My Light Shines On.”

“However, the core appeal of Edinburgh and what makes it so special is its history, heritage and architecture. That’s all still there, and we have a very strong foundation to build on.”

“ETAG has been working with partners over the last several months, on a resilience reboot and recovery plan. As we slowly come out of lockdown and the industry reboots, we are now very much focussed on the recovery process.”

“And I don’t think that anyone is under any illusions that this is going to be a quick or simple process. It creates new unique challenges that the City and the City’s tourism business have never faced before. Clearly every business is going to have to adapt to this new normal, whether that’s changes to the way they do business with critical importance on digital solutions or physical measures that we’ve all had to put in, to address social distancing, creating new products and services to meet the changing market profile and how they market themselves.”

“We believe that the City as a whole has to take a similar approach. This requires a new and unique response to promoting the City.”

“It’s this thinking that has been behind the development of the new platform that you are going to hear about today. And I should say that Rob Lang has done a huge amount of work over the last few months to bring this all together in collaboration with the working group that he put together with key partners across the City and also The Lane Agency. So it’s down to their hard work that we are now in such a strong position to be able to sit before you today and launch this new platform.”

… public safety is the number one priority …

“It has been developed with several core principles in mind: public safety being the top priority, ensuring that the health and wellbeing of the City’s residents, workers and visitors is prioritised.”

“We’ve created something that everyone can be part of and that’s important from the smallest local business to residents and even visitors themselves.”

“This idea of collaboration right across the sector is so important for the success of this new platform that you’re going to learn about in a few minutes. It’s flexible and agile and will be highly responsive to changing circumstances. Only last week we learned about what was happening in Aberdeen [lockdown]. We’ve constantly got to be on guard for changes that are happening out there in our City and therefore this platform is designed to be flexible and agile in order to cope with all these changing circumstances.”

“What you’ll learn is [the platform is] focussing on both informing our visitor, and inspiring them to come and visit us again and the take time to spend time in Edinburgh, whether you’re a visitor from outside Edinburgh or indeed a local still living in Edinburgh and wanting to reacquaint yourself with parts of the City, perhaps that you haven’t seen for quite some time.”

… we’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting …

“We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on what we should say and when we should say it. It’s important that we give the right messages to the right markets at the right time and we’ve been working very closely with the University of Edinburgh and their Digital Information Department about the markets we should be targeting as this campaign and platform rolls out over the next few months.”

“Of course the platform is not a substitute for individual businesses own marketing activities. Rather it provides a framework, some tools and single unified message that everyone can adapt and amplify to their benefit, so it benefits your business but also the whole of Edinburgh.”

“So this concept of adopt, adapt and amplify and using the tools in your own way is something you’ll hear from Rob Lang. It’s actually a very important ingredient of what we’ve developed. ETAG has always been a passionate advocate about collaborating to compete and we believe that it has never been more important that the industry comes together to collaborate against the challenges that we are facing right now and the challenges that the tourism sector will face in the coming months right the way across the wider City.”

… it’s important we develop this Team Edinburgh approach …

“So, it’s important that we develop this Team Edinburgh approach. Everybody has a part to play for the success of this platform. Today is only the very first and early steps. There will be lots to come as we develop this platform over the coming months.”

“So, when you finish listening today, think about how you can get involved. Think about how you can use the toolkit that we will supply you and I really look forward to working with you in the future and towards the success of recovering Edinburgh’s tourism industry.”

“So that’s enough from me just now. I will hand you across to Rob Lang who is going to take you through the detailed approach to the platform we’ve been developing.”

Thank you.

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