Water great opportunity
Discover how to grow your marine tourism business
With such an exceptional coastline and pristine waters, marine tourism is one of the growth areas for attracting visitors to Argyll and Bute. Businesses are now looking at ways of growing what they offer and Oban’s new North Pier Pontoons may present new opportunities. A showcase for how the pontoons could help you grow your business comes to the Argyllshire Gathering Hall in the town as part of Argyll Enterprise Week on November 7. The informal marketplace event has been designed to appeal to pontoon users, suppliers, agents, service companies, vendors, local restaurants and businesses, bringing everyone together to share contacts and source relevant information. There will be tours of the new pontoons and a chance to ask questions and discuss opportunities. Many local operators and facilities have asked how they can extend their season or customer base using the new facilities and this day will enable people to discuss how working together can make that happen. The North Pier pontoons opened for business ahead of schedule at the end of July 2017, with the official opening taking place on August 31. This high-quality, new transit berth has been designed to complement existing west coast marine facilities and it is estimated the increase in visitor numbers will generate around £20million to the area over the next 25 years. The facility comprises 15 finger-berth pontoons, two hammerheads, and 12 fully-serviced floating concrete breakwaters - all built to the highest standards. The associated maritime visitor facility on the North Pier is due to be completed in November, providing a harbourmaster’s office, toilets, showers, lockers and a changing area, as well as commercial space for rent. By creating better facilities the pre- diction is that this will bring even more cruise ships and leisure vessels to Oban thanks to easier access to the town. The facility will also cater for other marine traffic such as kayakers, yachters, tour operators and sea-life enthusiasts.
It is hoped the new pontoon facilities in Oban will attract more visitors to the town.