Busi­ness back­ing for new tourism board

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

Am­bi­tious plans to pro­mote tourism in Mo­ray have been given a boost af­ter win­ning the back­ing of busi­nesses.

Four-fifths of the 120 busi­nesses sur­veyed backed the idea of set­ting up a Tourism Busi­ness Improve­ment Dis­trict (TBid), sim­i­lar to the one in In­ver­ness that has helped to boost oc­cu­pancy rates in ho­tels and cre­ate jobs.

Tourism busi­nesses across Mo­ray would pay a levy to the TBid which would then be in­vested in pro­jects to im­prove trade and en­sure vis­i­tors come back time and time again.

The idea was put for­ward af­ter Mo­ray Spey­side Tourism warned

“Com­pa­nies have an ap­petite for a brighter fu­ture”

last month it could be forced to close af­ter its fund­ing stops.

The body – which acts as a tourism board – cur­rently re­ceives £55,000 from High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise and a fur­ther £15,000 from the lo­cal au­thor­ity. How­ever the coun­cil re­cently an­nounced that due to its own fi­nan­cial cri­sis, it will no longer be able to of­fer the fund­ing.

Last night, Mo­ray Spey­side Tourism’s op­er­a­tions man­ager Lau­rie Piper said he be­lieves the TBid is the only sus­tain­able fu­ture for the tourism in­dus­try in the re­gion, and wel­comed the sur­vey.

He said: “I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted that at this early stage, the com­pa­nies have an ap­petite for a brighter fu­ture for tourism in the re­gion.

“The TBid is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal as with­out it, there won’t be a tourism des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion in Mo­ray – this is the only show in town.

“Busi­nesses are clearly see­ing the ben­e­fits that suc­cess­ful tourism can bring to the re­gion.”

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