Retail and Tourism

Retail and Tourism

Retail employs 253,490 Scots – 13.4% of the total private sector workforce- and is one of the country’s most dynamic industries. Along with wholesale it accounted for 15% of all new businesses formed in Scotland in 2013. Scotland has 23,550 retail outlets, 11.9% of all business outlets and there is an annual spend of around £2.55bn in Glasgow which is the UKs second biggest shopping destination.

The tourism sector is of vital importance to the Scottish economy - Latest figures indicate total overnight and day visitor expenditure in Scotland was around £8.9 billion in 2015 - this comprised of expenditure from overnight visitors of £4.9 billion and expenditure by day visitors of £3.9 billion.  In 2015 Scotland attracted over 14.6 million visitors.

Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.

Employment in the tourism-related industries sector (as measured by the Scottish Government’s Tourism Growth Sector) in Scotland was 196,000 in 2014 – accounting for around 7.7% of employment in Scotland.

These facts highlight the very significant contribution that both sectors make towards growth within the Scottish economy, but equally highlight, due to the large number of SMEs within each sector, the lucrative opportunities that criminals may exploit. Many of these are continuing problems like robbery, theft and violence towards workers. However, there are new and challenging threats emerging from cyber criminality. At SBRC we continually monitor current and emerging threats and engage with businesses to assist them in identifying and reducing vulnerability.  

We have successfully engaged with a variety of different business types within these sectors to introduce our unique information sharing platform.  After assessing the relevant risks within each sector and undertaking a stakeholder consultation, a business specific information sharing platform is setup to assist in the prevention and detection or crime. The SBRC will guide you through the set-up and operation of the information sharing platform which includes relevant specific data protection training.

Sharing information with similar businesses about criminal or suspicious activity, will make your business area less attractive and less vulnerable to be targeted. Businesses are alerted quickly to emerging and current threats. This enables companies to protect themselves and subsequently be able to contribute in the wider fight against opportunistic crime, serious organised crime and terrorism.  A number of sector specific initiatives have been launched including 'Goldwatch' for jewellers in Edinburgh.

The SBRC also facilitates the hosting of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Hotel Check-in websites.  With almost 200 Central Belt hotels registered on the network we are able to co-ordinate the members to circulate real time criminal information which is having a positive impact on resilience across this vital economic sector.

The current threat level from International Terrorism to the United Kingdom is SEVERE.  This means that an attack is highly likely.  Due to the location of many business premises within the Retail and Tourism sectors they may be more at risk of the type of terrorist attacks we have witnessed in Europe and North Africa where crowded places are targeted. 

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), a national police body which co-ordinates CTSA activity in the UK, launched an expansion to Project Griffin during 2016. This is a counter terrorism awareness product to help people understand the threat from terrorism in the UK, provide guidance on what to do in a terrorist event or incident, and raise awareness on how to recognise and report suspicious activity.

We at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, who support the work of Police Scotland, are now authorised by (NaCTSO) to deliver the Project Griffin modules to the SME business sector.

Project Griffin events are free and are available in a number of modules which can be adapted to a specific business or role.

If you would like to find out more please contact us on 01786 447 441 or via [email protected]


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