Cham­ber ap­points new man­ager to cham­pion Lochaber out­doors

The Oban Times - - News - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­

LOCHABER Cham­ber of Com­merce has ap­pointed a new des­ti­na­tion man­ager for the Out­door Cap­i­tal of the UK.

Chris O’Brien, an ex­pe­ri­enced dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and public re­la­tions pro­fes­sional, took on the role for the tourism des­ti­na­tion brand for Fort Wil­liam and Lochaber at the start of June.

Un­der the Out­door Cap­i­tal of the UK (OCUK) brand, the Cham­ber of Com­merce pub­li­cise, spon­sor and pro­mote Fort Wil­liam and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for ev­ery­one to ex­pe­ri­ence the out­doors, with a view to de­vel­op­ing lo­cal jobs.

De­spite only be­ing in his late 30s, Mr O’Brien has an en­vi­able mar­ket­ing pedi­gree with a ca­reer work­ing with the English Premier League, Vir­gin, Nestlé and a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cians and co­me­di­ans.

A pas­sion­ate climber and a reg­u­lar visi­tor to the High­lands for many years, Mr O’Brien said it was a priv­i­lege to be se­lected for the job in May.

He said: ‘I am re­ally op­ti­mistic be­cause it’s such a fan­tas­tic des­ti­na­tion. Nowhere else would you find such a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘I am look­ing for­ward to en­gag­ing with peo­ple in Lochaber. I will also be mak­ing a point of meet­ing as many of the Lochaber busi­ness com­mu­nity as pos­si­ble in the com­ing weeks in or­der to build a col­lab­o­ra­tive and com­mu­nity-led vi­sion for Lochaber go­ing for­ward.’

Mr O’Brien said that his main pri­or­i­ties over the next weeks and months are a VisitS­cot­land Growth Fund ap­pli­ca­tion, a dig­i­tal con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paign, Lochaber Ideas Week 2016 and a new, more visi­tor-friendly and user-gener- ated con­tent fo­cused web­site. He told The Oban Times: ‘We are work­ing on a new web­site, a truly revo­lu­tion­ary project, that will be based on user-gen­er­ated con­tent,and be in­ter­ac­tive for users.

‘ Vis­i­tors will be able to see me­mories they have cre­ated on the web­site, but Lochaber res­i­dents will also be able to put up con­tent to at­tract peo­ple to the area.

‘ We want to cel­e­brate the peo­ple who live and work here al­ready, as they are the real he­roes.

‘ We are re­ally en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get in­volved with us, such as vol­un­teer groups in the area.’

Lochaber will again be ap­ply­ing for the VisitS­cot­land Growth Fund, which was deemed a huge suc­cess for the area in 2015, and is hop­ing to se­cure be­tween £ 80,000 and £100,000.

Mr O’Brien said that the cham­ber signed off on the ap­pli­ca­tion yes­ter­day ( Wed­nes­day July 6) say­ing: ‘ We should find out of if we have been suc­cess­ful in Oc­to­ber.’

The Growth Fund sup­ports mar­ket­ing projects which fo­cus on growth in the tourism sec­tor.

‘It is a very am­bi­tious project we are sub­mit­ting that will raise the pro­file of Lochaber in a unique video-led way.

‘The cam­paign con­cept we have planned will en­com­pass much more of Lochaber and re­ally show­case the lo­cal tal­ent and spirit that makes us. We are not just about pro­mot­ing the Out­door Cap­i­tal of the UK brand to the UK and overseas tourists, we are very much about cel­e­brat­ing the amaz­ing com­mu­nity we live in.

‘All will be­come clear very soon and we will make the de­tails avail­able as soon as pos­si­ble.’

Mr O’Brien en­vi­sions Lochaber hav­ing a very bright fu­ture, by ev­ery­one in the area work­ing to­gether to make the OCUK brand the best it can be.

He con­tin­ued: ‘Our one real pas­sion is to get as many lo­cal busi­nesses and res­i­dents in­volved as much as pos­si­ble.

‘We have an open-door pol­icy, and we want to hear from peo­ple.

‘I want to gather the opin­ions of all and get as much in­put as pos­si­ble on the fu­ture of the Out­door Cap­i­tal of the UK and what the brand means to the com­mu­nity within the re­gion.

‘In part­ner­ship with all in Lochaber, we’ll be able to map out a true vi­sion for the fu­ture of the area.’

Chris O’Brien.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.