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Driving tourism growth in Ayrshire & Arran

Press Release   •   Mar 14, 2017 14:28 GMT

Around 100 businesses from all over the region will converge at Ayr Racecourse on Wednesday 29 March for the 2017 Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Conference.

The industry event, hosted by VisitScotland and supported by the Ayrshire Tourism Industry Group, will focus on working together to drive tourism growth in order to benefit local businesses, boost the region’s economy and enhance Ayrshire & Arran’s reputation as a top visitor destination.

Tourism supports 12,700 jobs in Ayrshire & Arran and generates £171 million for the local economy, with tourism and hospitality businesses attracting 666,000 tourist trips from UK and overseas visitors in 2015.

Welcoming attendees to the conference will be VisitScotland Director of Partnerships Riddell Graham who will introduce a series of informative presentations from: Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Head of Customer Experience - talking about the importance of using digital platforms to engage with customers, ScotRail Tourism Manager Alasdair Smart - discussing supporting tourism and visitor growth, and David Sime of Google Digital Garage - focusing on ‘telling your story online’.

In addition, Scottish Maritime Museum Director David Mann will provide delegates with an update on the activities of the Ayrshire Tourism Industry Group, VisitArran Executive Director Sheila Gilmore will provide insights into the success of partnership working, and Scottish Tourism Alliance Chief Executive Marc Crothall will discuss ‘the five big questions’ supporting tourism business growth.

The conference will also provide delegates with a chance to meet agencies and organisations offering business support, to network with fellow local businesses and make new contacts which could potentially be mutually beneficial, and to take part in workshop sessions. These will focus on capitalising on the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, making savings by reducing energy, water and raw materials costs, and maximising the benefits of a visitscotland.com free web listing.

VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “Tickets for our Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Conference are being snapped up quickly! It’s great that so many tourism and hospitality businesses throughout the region are clearly looking forward to the opportunity of getting together to explore how we can work together to support tourism growth and help achieve an even stronger performance for the industry locally.”

David Mann, of the Ayrshire Tourism Industry Group, commented: “I’m sure businesses will find this free event extremely informative and valuable – the presentations and workshops cover a broad range of very relevant aspects concerning the industry at both a national and regional level. The conference will also be an excellent chance to network, share experiences and discuss new and better ways of working so I’d urge any local tourism business owners or managers who have not yet done so to sign up whilst there are still some tickets remaining.”

Tickets for the 2017 Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Conference – which takes place from 9.30am to 3pm on Wednesday 29 March at Ayr Racecourse - can be obtained at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ayrshire-arran-tourism-conference-2017-tickets-32288606090

ENDS

For further information contact:

Ellen Drummond Ferroni, VisitScotland Corporate Press Officer

T: 0141 566 4019; M: 07801 820757; E: ellen.drummondferroni@visitscotland.com

Please note, I work Mon-Thurs.

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
    2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017