Tuesday, September 17 2013
Argyll and the Isles Tourism Ltd was formed in March 2012 to represent the interests of the tourism industry in mainland Argyll and the Hebridean Islands of Argyll. This new marketing initiative is funded and supported by Visit Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council, the Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Development International. Their goal is to promote the entire Argyll and Isles region as a high-quality destination and to attract more visitors.
The new Argyll and Isles marketing initiative operates next to the local Islay and Jura marketing group, VisitScotland and the Discover Islay marketing group, although I believe it is safe to say the latter is no longer active. With all these marketing groups around, based partly on the use of public government funding, it's interesting to see which of the aforementioned initiatives will survive in the long term. In my opinion I don't believe there is room for too many marketing groups and having only one marketing group could work more efficiently and cost effective.
Especially if it comes to marketing Islay and Jura I think the whisky distilleries already do a fabulous job in promoting the islands and what could public funding add to marketing the islands if the BBC keeps on airing very successful series such as "Hebrides - Islands on the Edge" and "Springwatch", just to name a few. The whisky distilleries and broadcasting companies such as BBC are the true marketing forces to be reckoned with if it comes to promoting the islands of Islay and Jura. Continue reading...
However, if I had to pick a marketing initiative for the future I think the new Argyll and the Isles group could be the one. Argyll has a lot to offer, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful areas in Scotland and it is good to try and get that message across to a bigger audience. For Islay and Jura it could mean more focus for other sorts of tourism such as for families, and not only whisky based tourism. The latter will increase anyway in the near future when the new Gartbreck and Port Charlotte distilleries will open in 2015 or thereabouts.
In the next weeks the Argyll & The Isles Tourism Co-operative will organise local workshops for everyone involved in tourism providing updates of recent pan Argyll tourism projects and activities and giving everyone involved in tourism the opportunity to share ideas and to help shape the future of tourism in Argyll and the Isles. The local event for Islay & Jura is on Thursday 19th September in the Gaelic Centre near Bowmore from 1.00pm to 4.30pm and the drop in between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The workshops will encourage open discussion and the sharing of ideas.
Each session will explore what the local issues and opportunities are for tourism development and what steps should be taken to help grow tourism. This will allow AITC to produce â€˜Tourism Argyll & the Isles 2020â€™, the local grass roots response to the national tourism strategy. The workshops are being led by Mike Story and Carron Tobin and at each event they will be joined by a Board Member of AITC and key players from the local marketing group plus the Business Gateway, Visit Scotland and other partners. To sign up for the workshop please click here