Three-year tourism plan cash boost
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.’