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Scottish Tourism preparing for re-opening from 15th July

The Cabinet Minister for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, has announced his intention to re-open the Scottish tourism sector for business from the 15th July. As such Scottish businesses in the sector are now being advised to prepare to open, with strict adherance to government guidelines and with all appropriate safety recommendations in place, on or after that date.

Hermitage Castle, Newcastleton [Photo: Visit Scotland/ Paul Tomkins]

The tourism industry in the UK has been hit hard with shops, hotels and restaurants being asked to closed down virtually overnight when it became clear the deadly strain of Coronavirus was sweeping through the country unhindered. For some, the government’s unprecedented furlough scheme has brought a measure of relief and will ensure the business will still be able to open again, but the full impact of the safety recommendations on infrastructure and staffing levels, remains to be seen.

For GT Passport, the lockdown had severely impacted the ability to engage with businesses along its Grand Touring routes in the UK and EU. Now that the sector is begining to see a new dawn approaching, GT Passport will, once again, be reaching out to businesses around the South of Scotland, The Midlands, East Anglia, Wales and the Southern England, to help support their engagement with staycationers and road-trippers. The pent up demand for these kinds of holidays has the potential to create a boom in domestic travel. GT Paspsort aims to ensure that the rural and remote economies which are so often bypassed by tourism agencies will also be able to enjoy an uptick in visitors.

The Kelpies, Falkirk [Photo: Visit Scotland/ Kenny Lam]

Of course, increased visitor numbers can also create problems for some communities, and for a few, a growth in visitor numbers may be unwelcome. GT Passport’s goal to support the local businesses, by increasing foot-fall along the promoted routes, includes a willingness to engage with these local communities to understand how best to mitigate the negative impacts of tourism, while still drawing out the enormous benefits of attracting visitors.

The Dunbar Bear [Photo: Visit Scotland/ Kenny Lam]

But in the mean time, as Scotland prepares to re-open for business, GT Passport is preparing interactive guidebooks for both “The High Road” and “South of Scotland” grand touring routes and invites businesses that have a presence along these routes to get involved and secure a full-page listing inside the books and on the GT Passport website.

For more information of the GT Passport touring routes in Scotland, England & Wales, and the EU, visit GTpassport.com. Alternatively, you can email info@gtpassport.com or send a Direct Message to Skinidin House Media via LinkedIn.

Throughout June and July, @GTPassport will be posting a virtual tour of the routes on Instagram starting with the South of Scotland. Please follow to see more.

Bridges over The River Forth [Photo: Visit Scotland/ Stuart Brunton]

Main Image: The South of Scotland grand touring route [photo: Visit Scotland/ Cut Media]

Palladium Executive Hire becomes Route Sponsor for “GT Passport: South of Scotland” touring route

GT Passport is pleased to announce that Glasgow-based Chauffeur Drive firm, Palladium Executive Hire, has become a Route Sponsor for the South of Scotland grand touring route.  The company is ideally placed to provide chauffeur-driven tours of the route for those who feel less comfortable driving Scotland’s breathtaking roads themselves.

Based near Glasgow Airport, the firm, founded in 2008 by Asif Ali, has provided high quality chauffeur drive and award-winning wedding car services for over a decade, and continues to offer a choice of pristine vehicles for touring, airport transport and corporate travel. By sponsoring GT Passport, Palladium Executive Hire will be well placed to help visitors experience the scenery and culture of the region from the comfort of a chauffeur-driven Mercedes. With a choice of vehicles, including the roomy V-Class, the spacious S-Class Limousine, or the comfortable E-class luxury saloon, clients will be treated to an bespoke guided tour by an experienced chauffeur who knows the region intimately.

Speaking of the multi-year arrangement, Palladium Executive Hire’s owner Asif Ali said, “GT Passport offers a tremendous showcase for Scotland’s less visited areas, and provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to boost their footfall, especially after facing such a tough time in early 2020. I’m very proud to be able to offer GT Passport users an alternative to driving the route, and can tailor the experience to suit the individual clients we serve.”

GT Passport’s Route Co-ordinator in Scotland, Ally Campbell, said, “Palladium’s expertise in high quality chauffeur drive shines through with a thoroughly modern approach to serving clients, while maintaing exceptional standards recognised across the hospitality industry in this region. I’m delighted to welcome Asif and his team at Palladium Executive Hire to the GT Passport family and look forward to working with them to make the visitor experience unforgettable.”

GT Passport Route Sponsorship lasts for 3-Years, and is open to more than one sponsor.

-END-

Notes For Editors:

Palladium Executive Hire was founded in 2008 by Dumbartonshire businessman Asif Ali. The chauffeur driven fleet include Mercedes, Bentley and Rolls Royce cars and even an Imperial Viscount Wedding Car all maintained to the highest possible standards. Touring clients are typically best served by the Mercedes V-Class People carrier. Palladium’s team of Chauffeurs are highly experienced and are only selected having previously served at the highest levels of the chauffeur drive industry.

GT Passport presents a series of touring routes in the UK and Europe, for self-organised scenic road-trips. GT Passports are guidebooks which feature participating businesses along the route, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, tourist attractions, scenic highlights and activities, where users can collect stamps on their guidebook. The grand trouring routes range from 400 to over 1000 miles and typically take between 4 and 14 days to complete depending on the user’s preferences and constraints.

The Routes are:
The High Road
A scenic route from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Fort William

The South of Scotland
A circular route around the southern part of Scotland including the East and West coasts, the Southern Border and the Route of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The Midlands Loop
A large figure-of-eight loop centred in the West Midlands, at Stratford upon Avon, and looping East to the Norfolk Coast, and West to North Wales and Snowdonia.

Southern England
The entire length of the southern coast of Britain, from Dover to Land’s End, does not even cover half of this fascinating route which also includes the Cotswalds, Oxfordshire and Sussex, in a part of the world forever known as a “Green and Pleasant Land”.

The Road of Champions
This international route from Frankfurt to Paris – two of the biggest transport hubs in Europe – takes drivers off the Motorway network and into the incredible country roads of North-West Germany, Southern Belgium and North-East France. The route passes by three of the world’s great historic racing circuits – The Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Reims-Gueux.

Images:

 

Contacts:

Palladium Executive Hire
Asif Ali – Proprietor
info@palladiumexecutivehire.com

GT Passport
Ally Campbell – Route co-ordinator
info@gtpassport.com

Bentley Pauses Production

It’s March 2020 and the World is in the grip of a Coronavirus Pandemic.

The highly infectious virus, seemingly originating in a open food market in China, has spread rapidly across the globe and has been taking many people out of routine action while claiming a significant number of lives. The pneumonia-like symptoms, starting with a dry cough and fever then escalating to breathing difficulties, are affecting different groups of people in different ways, the younger and healthier population seem to be the most resilient in terms of being affected by the bug, while healthy adults who contract it seem to be recovering well after a couple of weeks of very sore lungs and breathlessness.

The most vulnerable are those with underlying health problems, particularly immune deficiencies or respiratory issues, and the elderly. A large proportion of the deaths attributed to the disease, have been among the older generation.

In the UK, The Government has taken a gradual approach to tightening controls, but in mid-March called for as many non-essential staff to work from home, or take time off. The resulting self-isolation of huge swathes of the British public and the importance of stopping the virus, has brought much of the country’s industry to a stand still.

Bentley Motors has announced that it will be pausing car production to protect the workforce, many of whom are already either working remotley, or at a safe distance from other colleagues, to minimise the potential to spread the disease. While demand in some markets has declined, as would be expected, Bentley, part of the Volkswagen Group, aims to be back up and running on the 20th April, all being well.

The crisis has affected many car makers, not least with the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show at the start of March, the first major event that signalled the seriousness of the disruption which was to follow.

Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “The well-being of our colleagues is our number one priority and although this was a difficult decision to take, and doesn’t change our strategic direction, it was necessary to protect them as best we can during these unprecedented times. This will inevitably have an impact on our deliveries to customers, and we apologise for the inconvenience this causes, however we are working hard to minimize this disruption. Our thoughts continue to go out to all those affected around the world throughout this very sad and difficult time for so many people.”

We, at Skinidin House Media, would like to echo Mr. Hallmark’s sentiments and wish everyone affected by the disruption, including all those at Bentley Motors, a safe period of isolation and that through it all, new and positive ways of working can develop from the enforced break in operations.

Stay safe. Wash hands often. Learn something new and Innovate.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar Revealed

Bentley has revealed the Bacalar developed by the company’s bespoke Mulliner division.

Taking cues from the extraordinary EXP100 GT concept revealed last year, the Bacalar comes at a time when Bentley is reshaping its line-up to focus more on its driver-centric cars.

The car’s unveiling had been due to take place at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, which has been cancelled at very short notice due to ongoing concerns relating to the spread of Coronavirus.

The new car brings together some of the breathtaking features of 2019’s concept car of the year, and packages it in a Barchetta-style Coachbuilt convertible body that loosely echos the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept, revealed at Geneva in 2017.

Only twelve of these bespoke cars will be built, all pre-ordered and personalised to the customer’s tastes so they can be expected to fetch a tidy premium if they ever re-surface on the pre-owned market.

If you’re wondering about the name, that comes from Laguna Bacalar in Mexico, and further establishes Bentley’s modern-era naming convention started by the Bentayga SUV. It seems the company has broadened its sights from the corners and straights of historic racetracks, and is now picking out extraordinary and exotic landmarks around the world to reflect Bentley’s extraordinary and exotic clientele.

Speaking ahead of the reveal, Bentley boss, Adrian Hallmark spoke of the new suite of services the revised Mulliner Division will be responsible for. Summarised as Classic, Collections, and Coachbuilt, Mulliner will be tasked with bringing back classic models from the brand’s rich heritage, personalising existing models to client requirements, and coach-building one-off and limited edition vehicles.

He went on to say, “Our customers are as excited as we are about Bacalar, as it brings our team and discerning enthusiasts together, to create the finest bespoke, hand-built cars, and push the boundaries of our imagination and capabilities.”

Bentley was once celebrated as the stoic producer of old-fashioned, traditional British cars but the Bacalar is as avant-garde as anything to come out of the fragments of the 2020 Geneva Show. The attention to detail includes a cabin full of ethically-sourced materials, and it is the first new Bentley to emerge from Crewe since the company HQ was declared the world’s first carbon neutral luxury car factory.

With the company’s 6.0-litre W12 engine fitted, this promises to be an exciting car to drive, and is just as exciting to look at, with its roof-less design and muscular stance.

It is no coincidence that Hallmark’s new plan for Bentley is reminiscent of the strategy adopted at JLR during his time in the boardroom there. The Midland’s carmaker introduced the Classic Works and Special Vehicles divisions, offering a similar suite of services to the revived Mulliner division at Bentley – albeit a bit lower down the food-chain. In a Sunday Times interview, Hallmark described his time at the Midlands car-maker as the “perfect training” for running Bentley. We suspect his approach is far more suited to Bentley in many ways where customers have long-expected the level of customisation that Mulliner has now been given the freedom to of deliver.


GT Passport introduces new Driving Routes in the UK and EU

GT Passport has announced its first five scenic driving routes in the UK and Europe.  Businesses along these routes are invited to apply to advertise in the accompanying interactive guidebooks (GT Passports).

Contact info@gtpassport.com or apply via GTpassport.com

The High Road, Berwick to Ft William

High Road Light Map

South of Scotland

LightMap

The Midlands Loop

MidsLoopLightMap

Southern England

Screenshot 2019-09-04 at 21.42.16

The Road of Champions, Frankfurt to Paris

RoC LightMap