Showcasing tourism in St Andrews

Tourism showcase
Tourism showcase

The first St Andrews Tourism Showcase, held on Tuesday in the Byre Theatre, has been voted a big success by organisers and exhibitors.

The industry-only event sold out its available space, with 40 local businesses and tourism-related organisations gathering to show off their services and wares and around 150 people registering to attend on the day.

“We modelled it on a similar successful tourism showcase in Edinburgh and had a fantastic response,” said Patrick Laughlin, manager of St Andrews Partnership.

“We ended up with an event 70% of the size of the Edinburgh event, which is quite an achievement when you consider the size of St Andrews compared to the capital.

“We will measure the event’s success once we have had a full review but the consensus so far was that it was well worthwhile.”

The showcase had financial assistance from Scottish Enterprise.

A wide range of business were represented from across the tourism-related spectrum.

“The ‘visitor economy’ is vital to St Andrews and it is too small a town for businesses to be working in factions,” Mr Laughlin said. “In addition to our five-star operations and the Links Trust, we have hundreds of small businesses and there are few opportunities for them to meet up.

“As well as providing a ‘showcase’ for their services, the fair was about networking and seeing how they could work together.”

In addition to hotel and accommodation ‘big hitters’ such as the Fairmont St Andrews, Morton of Pitmilly and newcomer Hotel du Vin, the show attracted small up and coming new ventures, such as Chillilicious, of Ceres, which was delighted to make a connection with Mitchell’s deli as a potential stockist in St Andrews.

Visitor attractions were also represented, including the National Trust for Scotland with Hill of Tarvit and Kingarrock Hickory Golf and Musa,

Festivals also took part, from international poetry festival StAnza to the growing Crail Food Festival. Umbrella organisations were also on hand to offer advice, such as Food from Fife and Fife Tourism Partnership.