Three-year tourism plan cash boost

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A THREE-YEAR pro­ject to grow tourism in Ar­gyll and the Is­lands by at least £16mil­lion has se­cured support from an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency.

The plan, by Ar­gyll and the Is­lands Tourism Co-op­er­a­tive (AITC) will fo­cus on ad­ven­ture tourism, events and fes­ti­vals, and food and drink tourism.

AITC brings to­gether the area’s des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions. It was formed in 2012 as a co-op­er­a­tive of mem­bers and now represents around 1,200 tourism in­ter­ests.

High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE) has ap­proved funding of up to £240,000 over the three year pe­riod, to cover de­vel­op­ment costs - with tar­gets and out­puts de­fined by HIE.

This funding fol­lows a three-year in­vest­ment from Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil which com­bines with mem­ber subs to cover core funding and mar­ket­ing, with ad­di­tional support pro­vided by the part­ners on the Ar­gyll and The Isles Strate­gic Tourism Part­ner­ship Group.

In 2015 tourism in Ar­gyll em­ployed around 6,500 peo­ple. The sec­tor plays a vi­tal role in the eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity and vi­a­bil­ity of many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, and sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments by en­trepreneurs and com­pa­nies have cre­ated em­ploy­ment.

In ad­di­tion to work­ing with AITC, the HIE team in Ar­gyll and the Is­lands works with more than a dozen tourism clients.

Jen­nifer Ni­coll, HIE area man­ager for Ar­gyll and the Is­lands, said: ‘This am­bi­tious pro­ject out­lines plans to grow the tourism sec­tor across Ar­gyll and Bute, some­thing that will lead to new jobs, in­creased turnover and more in­ter­na­tional trade. These as­pi­ra­tions are aligned with our aims to support the sec­tor’s con­tin­ued growth, thereby sup­port­ing busi­ness and the ru­ral econ­omy and im­prov­ing wider com­mu­nity re­silience.’

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