Visitor Experience Manager

  • Job Reference: VEM/FA
  • Date Posted: 26 March 2024
  • Recruiter: Scottish Canals
  • Location: Fort Augustus, Highland
  • Remote Working: Some remote working possible
  • Salary: £44,000
  • Bonus/Benefits: Starting from circa 44k including allowances & pending pay award
  • Sector: Venue, Attraction, Travel and Entertainment, Operations, Tours and Visitor Attractions, Administration, Customer Service
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

Scottish Canals are the custodians of the nation’s canal network and surrounding estates.  Our vision is to invest in the canal network to generate lasting benefit for people and communities; celebrating their industrial heritage, ensuring they offer quality green and blue spaces for people and communities and contribute to Scotland’s resilience in tackling climate change.

Our success is rooted in valuing the contributions of our entire team - we care, we create, and we collaborate to continue to deliver a whole range of activities from boating, paddling, walking and wheeling to living and playing and improving what the canals have to offer to our visitors and communities.  We also work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to contribute to a wealthier, fairer, greener and more resilient Scotland.

As an employer we offer a truly unique opportunity to be part of our team, help us realise our vision and contribute to safeguarding our heritage and ensuring our canals flourish now and in the future. 

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Visitor Experience Manager to join our Destinations team at the Caledonian Canal Centre, Fort Augustus. Scottish Canals are responsible for the stewardship of Scotland’s iconic canal network as well as various tourism destinations throughout the country. As Visitor Experience Manager you will be pivotal in developing our offering across food & beverage, retail, and our B&B accommodation to drive consistently high standards, while achieving financial goals.

The role is offered on a permanent basis, and with a starting salary of circa £44k (including allowances and pending pay award).  Working hours 37 hours per week, on a variable rota.

Scottish Canals offer a generous annual leave entitlement of 28 days, plus 10 public holidays, along with enhanced sick pay, discounted shopping vouchers, and a contributory pension scheme with up to 10% employer contribution.

Primary responsibilities of the role:

  • Manage daily operations of the Visitor Centre, including staffing, scheduling, and budgeting.
  • Lead and inspire a team dedicated to delivering exceptional visitor experiences.
  • Develop business plans, budgets, and quarterly forecasts.
  • Drive revenue levels to support the wider canal network, while controlling costs.
  • Ensure compliance across all operations.
  • Regular reporting of financial performance.
  • Facility management with the support of our Estates team.
  • Gather, manage and analyse visitor feedback via multiple platforms to continually improve the visitor experience.
  • Ownership of Destination ICT systems (scheduling, EPOS and room booking platforms).
  • Collaborate with marketing to promote the destination across various media platforms, driving increases in visitor numbers.
  • Streamlining the visitor experience, reducing pain points and increasing revenue.
  • Organising and overseeing events that enrich the visitor experience and promote the local area.
  • Ensure the Visitor Centre and its offerings are competitive, appealing, enjoyable and accessible for all.
  • Work collaboratively with other SC Destinations, ensuring a consistent and competitive offering and experience to all visitors.
  • Wide stakeholder management: internal SC departments, tourism destination partners (ASVA, STA members), travel trade clients and the local community.

Skills and experience required:

  • Proven track record in a similar role, preferably within visitor attractions, hotels, or restaurants.
  • Highly IT literate with the ability to master new systems quickly.
  • Experience managing staff across multiple specialisms, excellent leadership and communication skills.
  • Skilled in creating, forecasting, and managing budgets and interpreting financial reports.
  • Strong knowledge covering facilities management with F&B operational experience.

Qualities & abilities required:

  • Passionate about providing outstanding visitor experiences.
  • Creative thinker with strong problem-solving skills.
  • A commitment to inclusivity and accessibility

This post requires occasional travel to other Scottish Canals sites. The post holder will be required to participate in an on-call rota and so must live within a reasonable distance from Fort Augustus.