Wa­ter great op­por­tu­nity

Dis­cover how to grow your marine tourism busi­ness

Campbeltown Courier - - ARGYLL ENTERPRISE WEEK -

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.

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