More than 60 events are to be staged as part of Scotland‘s Winter Festivals Programme. The festivals season begins on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) and includes the Hogmanay celebrations and Burns night on 25 January.
The Ministry of Scotland Culture is set to focus on promoting Scotland’s top produce, with 2010 being Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. Events will be held around the country, involving 65 visitor attractions.
The Minister for Culture Ms Hyslop said that Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme shows that Scotland is a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events all year round. With Edinburgh‘s Hogmanay generating an estimated £29m last year, festive celebrations can make a significant contribution to Scottish tourism and economy.
The Winter Festivals are considered to help entice people from home and abroad to explore all areas of Scotland. The celebrations will span the globe year, with a St Andrew’s Day Ball in Doha, in the Gulf, and a Kirkin’ of the Tartans in Hawaii also being staged.
The survey results suggest that Scottish men are better at saving than women. The survey was conducted by the Bank of Scotland. According to them, 36% of men said they had a savings account compared with only 33% of women.
At least 85% of those women without savings said they had none because they could not afford it. The figure fell to 73% for Scottish men.
Other reasons given for having no money put aside was a lack of time, while a small minority of men claimed to have no savings account because they did not know how to open one.
Nearly all the men asked (92%) said they had a current account, while 89% of women said they had a similar account.
Both the sexes had similar thoughts on the amount to save, with 16% of men and 18% of women planning to put away between £100 and £1,000 in the coming year.
The surveyors found that most of the people think that they need huge amount of money to open an account, because they said ‘no spare money’.
The Scottish economy is regaining its strength from the vacuum created by the recession which lasted a period over a year. The latest business survey reports have found that the growth is steady yet, weak and muted.
The surveyor Lloyd’s TSB Scotland Business Monitor says that the consumer and business confidence is still remains low, and this affects the growth of the economy in turn. By the end of 2009 the Scottish economy gained a growth of 0.3%.
Although the reports show that the export activity fell, it “remains positive”, with marginally more firms reporting an increase in exports than a decrease.
Only 26% of firms reported a rise in exports. While 24% reported a fall giving a percentage balance of 2% down from 12% in the previous quarter. And 38% of firms said they expected export activity to increase in the next six months.
But inflation still continues to put pressure on Scottish firms, with the net balance of firms reporting an increase in costs to those reporting a decrease. standing at 44% – up from 28% in the same quarter last year.
Scotland’s tourism sector is now having the worst time ever, the new reports says. Numbers of tourists travelling into the country for visits are found on the decreasing level. The major reasons sighted behind this beat is said to be the bad weather and recession.
There have been visible fall in the number of visitors at tourist attractions throughout the north and north-east areas of Scotland. This slump reveals that the vital industry is almost certain to miss ambitious targets to boost its income.
Although goals have set in increasing revenue by 50% until 2015, the Scotland Government’s tourism unit have revealed that the industry is now running on a trajectory level. But, now the situations show that the industry is not on trajectory to meet 50% growth in the decade up to 2015.
The tourism industry was one that had better performed than any other sectors in Scotland. Most of the tour organisers face heavy decline in the number of visitors this year than that they had in the previous year. There are rising opinions from the part of experts in the field that, Scotland would have to change its marketing policy to succeed and not simply drop prices to increase business.
Also it is opined that Scotland needed to look further afield than the traditional domestic and North American markets because of the struggling economies. For instance, to the east, to places like China where the economy is still strong, and sell the state as an all-year-round tourist destination.
A new report says that, more than 700 pubs in Scotland have closed since the smoking ban was introduced. Scotland was the first country in UK to bring in smoking ban in public places. It was in March 2006 that Scotland brought in legislation outlawing smoking in enclosed public places.
Research conducted by Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign showed that 11.1% of pubs north of the border had shut over the past four years. Price slashes in drink prices have got to do something with this, the report says.
Oliver Griffiths, director of CR Consulting, which carried out the research, said: “The decline of the British pub had started before the smoking ban but at a low level. The ban had a sudden and marked impact, accelerating the rate of decline.”
The report showed that almost three years after the smoking ban was introduced 7.1% of pubs in Scotland had closed, rising to just over 11% after four years.
In England and Wales – where smoking in public places was banned later -the report said more than 7% of pubs had closed after almost three years.
Paul Waterson, president of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association says that these factors have strong impact on the closure of pubs and it is time for the government to do something to help the industry and relax the ban.
Seperate smoking rooms to be included in pubs was suggested as one option. But in the positive side, the doctors says that it helped people to change their attitude towards smoking and have clearly underlined the dangers associated with smoking. As a result many have chosen to quit smoking.