As part of Scottish Tourism Month 2018, one of Scotland’s leading tourism businesses has revealed that its secret to success is through investing in people and the community.
Edinburgh’s original five-star history and ghost tour company, Mercat Tours has seen a recent 19.5% year-on-year business growth after introducing a number of new policies which put staff and the preservation of Edinburgh’s heritage firmly at the heart of the family business. This includes becoming a profit sharing company, abolishing seasonal contracts in favour of guaranteed year-round contracts, and being the first walking tour operator in Scotland to secure accreditation as a Living Wage employer, reinforcing their commitment to fairness and equality for all.
Speaking about the importance of their business ethos, Mercat Tours Managing Director Kat Brogan said, “Scottish tourism thrives on people; whether it’s visitors choosing Scotland, locals sharing a warm welcome or communities nurturing their unique culture. We believe that by investing
in our team and the local community, our business and wider economy benefits.
“The staff and community projects that we support have a real impact on the tourism economy in Edinburgh. We help coordinate projects across the sector to try and multiply the effect for all people, at all levels; visitors, staff and community.”
Explaining the impact such investment has had on their business, Kat Brogan said, “Since my father founded Mercat Tours in 1985, our small team has flourished into a fully-fledged family business thanks to the passion, dedication and hard work of our incredibly motivated and loyal team – a third of whom have been part of the Mercat family for over 10 years.
“When I took over as Managing Director in 2015, I wanted to make sure that the value of our people was fully recognised and rewarded. The commitment and pride this has built in the team is powerful and we’ll use the momentum to grow a sustainable future.”
Highlighting the impact this has had on staff loyalty, Jane Calwell, Finance, added, “I’ve been working with Mercat Tours for over 15 years now and would not want to work for anyone else. They’ve really made me feel like part of the Mercat family. I’m currently studying for my Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification, supported by the company.
“I originally began work with Mercat as a storytelling guide but was given the opportunity to work within different departments to explore my own strengths and interests. I receive great rewards for putting my all into my role and I’m very proud to be part of the team.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance commented, “We are delighted that Mercat Tours are a Living Wage employer. Over a year ago they joined the growing movement of over 1000 companies in Scotland who want to go further than the Government minimum and recognise that Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer. I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming accredited.
In addition to investing in staff, Mercat also supports a number of charities and social initiatives that focus on protecting Edinburgh’s heritage and enhance the future enjoyment of the city.