Fantastic success for second Argyll and the Isles Tourism Summit

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Published Date: 

1 Mar 2012 - 15:54

The Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership welcomed more than 140 tourism professionals from across Argyll and Bute to Portavadie marina today (Thursday 1 March) for the second Argyll and the Isles Tourism Summit.  Argyll and Bute Council and VisitScotland are key partners in this industry-led organisation

Building on the work of last year’s summit in Oban, delegates heard how the input from those attending shaped the way forward for the Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership.  This included the development of a brand identity for Argyll and the Isles.  The summit also gave the delegates an opportunity to explore the potential of cultural and marine tourism for the area with presentations from industry leaders including James Stuart, CEO of the Royal Yachting Association Scotland.  And VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead OBE who addressed the summit then joined a panel of experts who took questions from delegates.

There was the chance to get hands-on during the three workshop sessions on marine tourism, cultural tourism and social media which allowed everyone to share their experiences as well as gain new skills and insights.

It was also announced that the partnership has secured £164,000 for a two year marketing programme.  This is multi-agency money coming from a number of partners including Argyll and Bute Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Leader and VisitScotland Growth Fund.

This year the Argyll and the Isles Tourism Award was won by Ian Cleaver.  Ian, who is based in Dalmally, is the managing director of Highland Heritage Limited.  With over 40 years’ experience in the tourism sector, including six years on the LEC board and Vice Chair of Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs Tourist Board Ian really has lived a life in tourism. 

Speaking after the event Argyll and Bute Council’s spokesperson for enterprise, energy, culture and tourism Councillor Neil Mackay said, “This has been another excellent event.  Tourism is important to Argyll and Bute but we have to recognise that having stunning scenery is not enough. We need to work together to achieve the best for the tourism industry in Argyll and Bute. The Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership has shown today that we are indeed stronger together.  I am delighted that everyone here today is going back to their businesses with new ideas, new contacts and a positive perspective for the future of tourism in Argyll and Bute.”

Mr Roughead said, “This was a valuable opportunity to meet with members of the Argyll and Bute tourism industry and I would like to thank Argyll and Bute Council for helping to organise such a successful event. Partnership working it vital for the continued growth of tourism, Scotland’s most important industry, and I am sure that this summit will have given attendees plenty of ideas and encouragement going forward.”