We’re cateran country now
BEPTA aim is to get area noticed
Blairgowrie and the surrounding area is to be rebranded as‘cateran country’.
The move was agreed by members of the Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association (BEPTA) at their AGM, held last week in the Angus Hotel in Blairgowrie.
The local tourist association has been working with a marketing expert to look at re-branding its website and name.
Speaking at the AGM, chair of the association, Bob Ellis, said: “We have been trying to find out how we can get the BEPTA website further up the search rankings and noticed by more people and think that this will help us achieve that.”
He added: “Tourism is one of the area’s largest employers and we want to be able to support our members’ businesses as best we can in attracting visitors to the area and raising awareness of the wealth of activities and services that are on offer here.
“The AGM was an opportunity for people to share their feedback and thoughts, and look at how we can all benefit from the re-branding.”
The recommendation to develop a ‘cateran country’ theme came about following an intensive workshop session led by Tricia Fox of Volpa.
At the AGM, she explained: “The idea is to develop a strategy for effective promotion and clear positioning of the area.
“We looked at current trends in the marketplace, existing perceptions of the area and how BEPTA communicates.
“The thing that pulled all the strands together is the story of travelling and travellers - the five roads that come into Blair, people travelling to and travelling through the town.
“There is a long concept of travelling that has a strong identity, and we arrived at the conclusion that this area is the heart of cateran country - it’s unique, no one else can claim to be cateran country.
“It’s memorable, and it’s flexible to suit different brands and marketing campaigns and interpretations, and it encompasses Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus, Strathmore, Meigle and the Glens.”
Bob said: “The caterans were all over this area in the 1700s and the Cateran Trail already brings visitors from all over the world to the area.
“Over 8000 walkers a year are on the trail, from Australia, Germany, South America and Kirkmichael and you can ski, walk, fish, eat, drink and cycle here too - you can do it all in cateran country.”
He went on: “I’m not sure what we are getting out of being branded as ‘east Perthshire’ and I think there are lots of opportunities to use this concept to suit all the various different businesses and products in this area.”
Andrew Mallinson, who runs outdoor activity business Mountain Summits, and is also chair of Glenshee and Strathardle Tourist Association, was at the meeting.
He said: “I think there’s been a long-term need for something to call this area for the benefit of all our businesses and tourism in the area.
“In the absence of anything else cateran country kind of does it.
“If we have something flexible enough that we can build on and that can underpin what we do that has to be a good thing. “I think it is a positive step forward.” In his report as chair to the AGM, Bob commented that it had been another busy year for BEPTA with representatives attending a number of meetings and events, including hosting an outdoor activity seminar, chairing a panel to choose 100 objects to tell the story of the Cateran Trail, and being involved in the development of the new snow route which starts in Blairgowrie.
Anyone wishing to find out more about BEPTA, its work and the organisation’s rebranding, should email visiteast email@example.com in the first instance.
New direction BEPTA directors (back row from left) Vicky Bickerstaffe, John Milne, Tracie Dick, Murray Scott and Nick Cole, (front row) Karen Inkster, chair Bob Ellis, Sue Cole and John Palfreyman