A full Equality Impact Assessment ( EQIA) was undertaken to help boost the celebration of YIAD.
The EQIA process identified:
- a lack of data (particularly major events and tourism participation and trends) for the transgender, faith, minority ethnic communities;
- limited data on the wider LGBTI community however recent published research on LGBT travel and perceptions led by the Equality Network and VisitScotland (supported by a £4,000 funding contribution from the Scottish Government) has helped improve the data available;
- no negative impacts of the celebration of the YIAD celebration on any of the protected characteristics.
- recent industry led activity to explore opportunities around "women in tourism" has the potential to provide useful evidence around gender for the business theme going forward;
- significant potential for the celebration of the YIAD to provide a broad focus to engage Scotland's diverse communities including participants, audience members and businesses/events organisers;
- particular opportunities to boost accessibility for disabled/older people and related to pregnancy and maternity during the YIAD, linked to VisitScotland's wider Inclusive Tourism Project;
- that the YIAD could also provide further opportunities to engage a multi-cultural Scotland and these should be explored with BEMIS Scotland building on the success of the multi-cultural celebration of Homecoming Scotland 2014 and also the 2015 Year of Food and Drink/Scotland's Winter Festivals 2015/16;
- that the overlap between the YIAD and Scotland's Winter Festivals provides a good opportunity to further engage Scotland's diverse communities; and
- a need to continue close engagement with key organisations representing people with protected characteristics to ensure that emerging opportunities are harnessed and also to allign activities to maximise impact.
The Scottish Government has led the delivery of actions from the EQIA for the YIAD with support from VisitScotland, Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland ( RIAS) and other partners assisting with the delivery of the Year.
Based on activity set out in the EQIA's for Homecoming 2014 and the 2015 Year of Food and Drink the following lessons have emerged:-
- There are key opportunities to engage minority ethnic/faith and LGBTI communities and also disabled/older people in major events like the Themed Years and Scotland's Winter Festivals.
- The activities developed to engage multi-cultural communities have had a significant impact - for the 2015 Year of Food and Drink over 12,000 people engaged at around 65 events involving 20 diverse multicultural communities. More robust measurement of the impacts from these activities could provide useful data to inform future EQIAs.
- Inviting communities to develop their own "take" on the celebration which reflects both their own culture and also Scotland's living traditions has been a particular success in terms of boosting engagement and empowerment and also integration and understanding. The multicultural events developed have been open to all in the wider community and mostly free of charge.
- The multicultural celebration of Scotland's Winter Festivals appears to have boosted integration and understanding and also allowed communities to explore what Scotland means for them as a home alongside their own cultural heritage. St Andrew's Day and Burns have particularly chimed with diverse communities. Food and Drink also provided a very accessible "hook" to engage communities during the 2015 Year of Food and Drink. For engagement to work best communities need inspiration to take part along with clear guidance on what's involved and expected. They also need to be assisted with the development and delivery of their events as for many this is the first involvement they have had in a Government initiative.
- Events developed by communities to contribute to an EQIA need to be clearly set within the wider programme they are contributing to (for example the themed year), both in terms of presentation and promotion.
- For maximum benefit to be achieved, events delivered by diverse
- communities that contribute to the evidence in support of EQIA delivery should not be presented as an "add on" but as an important and integral part of the whole programme.
- Activity driven by the EQIA has also helped build new partnerships such as that between BEMIS Scotland and Scotland Food & Drink. These partnerships can have a longer term legacy but need to be nurtured for this to be fully realised.
- In 2015, EQIA related activity related to the engagement of disabled and older people was set within VisitScotland's Inclusive Tourism drive and where possible setting equality related actions flowing from an EQIA within the context of a wider, existing project helps maximise benefits, build partnerships, avoid duplication and create legacy for future years.
- It is important that organisations representing people with protected characteristics are engaged, as the EQIA is developed and updated on the progress of supporting actions. No one organisation has overall responsibility for equality and for maximum success a partnership approach must be deployed with a variety of organisations taking the lead as appropriate. BEMIS Scotland, Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations ( CEMVO), Scottish Refugee Council, Interfaith Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, Equality Network, Scottish Transgender Alliance, LGBT Youth, Church of Scotland and partners represented on VisitScotland's Inclusive Tourism Group have been updated on EQIA related actions through newsletters issued by the Scottish Government.
- Where a number of key contributory strands exist and are delivered by different partners, it can be beneficial to agree to the production of a joint EQIA, avoiding duplication and also, crucially, ensuring that key considerations do not "fall through the net". For example, the EQIAs for Homecoming 2014 and the Year of Food and Drink were coproduction's with VisitScotland for the former and VisitScotland and Scotland Food &Drink for the latter. This approach worked very well.
To address the issues identified above the following actions are now underway:
- The Scottish Government is providing VisitScotland with a funding contribution of £38,000 to support activities to boost the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design as part of the roll-out of the wider Inclusive Tourism project. Outputs include a series of business guides aimed at enhancing accessible tourism and also a refreshed on-line toolbuilder to help businesses showcase their accessibility credentials and to enhance the related consumer interface. In addition to boosting 2016 activity these activities will also have a legacy for the future themed years as well as tourism/events more widely.
- The Equality Network is developing an information guide to welcome LGBTI visitors to Scotland. This builds on the LGBT tourism research delivered by the Equality Network during 2014 (and funded by £4,000 from the Scottish Government). The guide aims to provide LGBTI visitors to Scotland with the key information they need to make the most of their holiday, to set out Scotland's credentials as a leading nation around LGBTI equality and also, crucially, to warmly welcome the LGBTI community to Scotland.
- VisitScotland's website (VS.com) contains a wealth of information on the YIAD and links to this information will be highlighted to communities via the newsletter (see communication). VS.com also contains a section specifically designed to welcome the LGBTI community.
- LGBT Youth have delivered a successful event- LGBT Innovators- as part of LGBT History month.
- The Scottish Government is providing BEMIS Scotland with a funding contribution of £54,000 to celebrate the YIAD and also Scotland's Winter Festivals 2016/17. This builds on the success of the multi-cultural celebration of the Year of Food and Drink and Scotland's Winter Festivals (2015/16) which engaged around 12,000 people at 65 events across Scotland.
- Building on similar activity for Homecoming Scotland 2014 and the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, a tailored newsletter will be issued by the Scottish Government inviting multi-cultural, LGBTI, faith and disabled communities to celebrate the YIAD. The newsletter will showcase the events and attractions taking place in the Year and highlight any particular opportunities for these protected groups.
- Groups representing people with protected characteristics have been pro-actively engaged in activity to scope out the approach to the themed years post 2018.
- A core support package for businesses and event organisers
has been developed by partners. This is open to all and not
specifically tailored to specific groups or communities, as this
was not felt to be necessary. The package includes:
- VisitScotland's industry website (VS.org), which provides a range of tools to assist businesses harness the potential of the YIAD. http://www.visitscotland.org/business_support/advice_materials/toolkits/yiad.aspx
- The availability of business support tools for the YIAD. These will be highlighted to communities via the newsletter (see communication).
- The industry launch event for the Year took place on October 1, 2015. The Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism at that time, Fergus Ewing, spoke at the event which focused on inspiring the tourism industry to think about how they might proactively engage with the Year from a business perspective.
- Inclusive tourism pilots in Glasgow and Strathclyde Country Park have helped test the model to boosting accessibility and have generated useful lessons and learning to assist roll-out going forward. The project will expand in 2016 with the Fife Tourism Partnership taking accessible project work forward with support from VisitScotland. The project is now operating under the hashtag #accessiblefife and is currently working towards production of access statements and itineraries for local businesses.
- The Scottish Government has committed to ensuring the programme of themed years from 2015 through to 2018 are used to develop, promote and celebrate activities and events specifically targeted at engaging young people.
- A sub-group has been formed with representatives from Scottish Government, Young Scot, Education Scotland, Springboard, the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, Children in Scotland, The Scottish Youth Parliament, National Museum of Scotland. Open University, Edinburgh College, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland ( RIAS) and the Prince's Trust to identify how activities either planned or underway for 2016 can be used to help facilitate the engagement of young people in the YIAD.
- Industry partners have formed a group to consider opportunities to boost "Women in Tourism" and related research has been published at http://www.womenintourism.co.uk/. Headlines from the research include that 46% of women recognise that male colleagues progress faster in the industry.