by Gaby Huddart
The Scottish Tourist Board (STB) has come up with a new format for the 1996 edition of The Scotland Overseas Guide following angry outbursts from Scottish hoteliers.
The guide will now only carry information on Scotland as a holiday destination and will not include advertisements for individual hotels as it has in the past. Instead, a second publication is to be produced, called Scotland: A Selection of Quality Assured Accommodation, through which hoteliers can advertise.
The STB is hoping the move will prove a good compromise and put an end to the storm it provoked when it announced new rates for advertising in the overseas guide.
"We will not carry any advertising for accommodation in the overseas guide any more," STB international marketing director Tom Buncle told Caterer. "All accommodation ads will now appear in the new brochure."
Hoteliers wanting to advertise in the new brochure have an option of two rates. Either they can place a classified advertisement for £195, or a block advertisement with a picture for £650.
The STB has dropped its original proposal for the overseas guide that bed and breakfasts charging less than £20 a night should pay cheaper advertising rates than other hotels.
Mr Buncle said the brochure would have a lower print-run than the overseas guide - half a million copies compared with more than a million. But he added it would be carefully targeted through British Tourist Authority offices abroad and through direct marketing campaigns so tourists wishing to find out about accommodation would find it easy to do so.
The brochure would also be highlighted in the pages of the overseas guide so anybody interested could send off for a copy, he added.
"The solution we have come up with should prove much more cost-effective than producing the single overseas guide as we did last year," said Mr Buncle.
"The overseas guide will now serve as a marketing tool for Scotland, while the brochure will go to those people with a genuine interest in booking accommodation," he added.