Comment posted Tourism Summit latest: VisitScotland announces £63,500 from Growth Fund for Argyll and the Isles by newsroom.
The fact that the visitscotland site for the area is underinformed and and out of date is the raison d’etre for the Argyll and the Isles initiative – which has been given growth funding by visitscotland. This has been done because that umbrella organisation now recognises that regions can represent themselves much more effectively; and that a tourism development model of local independence supported as appropriate by the national tourism agency may be the way forward.
In effect, Argyll and the isles is trialling this model which, if successful, can be rolled out across Scotland.
It should be obvious that we welcome informed ideas and innovative thinking. We will welcome even more the emergence of evidence that folk with ideas start putting them into action for the general good and rein back on the pointless negatives.
The Argyll and the Isles initiative can work – but as we have said, we have to do this for ourselves and not wait for it to be done for or to us.
We advise anyone with something to give to this enterprise – focused on contributing to the economic sustainability of Argyll and the Isles – to contact Mike Story who leads it: email@example.com
newsroom also commented
- Does anyone know who the prat in the silly mustard jacket is, who is talking at this minute on Scottish tourism – and seems to be talking FOR Scottish tourism – on STV’s Scotland Tonight. (22.42 12th April)
Steven / Stephen someone (?) talking totally vacuous nonsense.
- And there is another gem in the pipeline for the ‘Secrets Collection’.
- Surely anyone with any nous who saw a question anywhere and personally had useful information would simply make it available.
The core value of web-based communications is that they are open channel, tapping all willing sources of information and advice.
The previous monolithic concept of visitscotland disabled this sharing and could never possibly know enough itself – hence the awful thin drivel, often factually incorrect – which purported to ‘market’ the regions.
For Argyll has no official role in marketing Argyll – nor should it have because we have to bg free to analyse, evaluate and criticise as we see fit. We do though, do all we possibly can to promote it – on evidence – because we know that it will take all of us doing just that if it is to get the attention it can richly reward.
We have built a large audience which we can introduce to the aspects of Argyll and the Isles on which we publish.
Anyone can send us information and although there are times when we are swamped and drop a few balls, we do our level best to respond and to support the many inventive initiatives that are going on.
But we do not represent Argyll and the Isles in any way and anyone whom we offend should not allow that to reflect on that organisation.
We strongly support it because we independently believe it has the legs for the job and we will do everything possible to help it to work.
- You’re missing nothing, Morag.
The Argyll and the Isles initiative is the best chance this area has ever had of branding and marketing itself within its own control.
It could not be more important.
At the time of the successful and determined recent tourism summit at Portavadie Marina, every one of the local marketing groups in Argyll and the Isles had signed up to it and were financially contributing to it.
This is the difference between this initiative and previous efforts. The folk at the sharp end believe in this one.
People have come to realise that however well a small locality markets itself, it needs the major area it sits in to be well publicised in a way that gives it instant recognisability and builds desire to be here.
It needs its essential character; its accessibility – airports, roads, ferries; and all of its attractions from the natural to the historical to the active – foregrounded to create that area magnetism which then puts wind in the sails of every local marketing enterprise.
It is not a case of either/or. It is a case of putting effort and money into both. They are not competitive. They are mutually engaged.
Even where there is no local marketing group, a successful marketing of Argyll and the Isles will bring local benefit across the area by putting it way up on the worldwide map with the sot of imagination and drive it has shown so far.
But it needs all of us to get in there and back it up with all we’ve got.
The majority who believe in the capacity of the tourist industry to lift Argyll towards sustainability can make it happen by improving the quality of what is on offer locally; and by developing the depth, texture and up to date accuracy of local information available – and by signing up to Argyll and the Isles.
This is emphatically not a time for blinkered splinter groups. We have seen a trail of previous attempts – from visitscotland downwards – to market Argyll and none of them were ever going to work.
The Argyll and the Isles brand has everything it takes, including the crucial buy-in right across the spectrum from local marketing groups, to the council to visitscotland to government.
But this is being done and has to be done BY us. It is not being done FOR us by some distant benevolent but uninformed authority. It is OUR initiative.
In our view, sniping from the sidelines instead of getting in there is blind and self destructive as well as widely damaging.
We CAN do this.
- There is a counter productive contradiction here. You identify too many marketing groups as the problem – and then announce yet another one.
You say Argyll needs to think bigger while driving down the focus of thought to small initiatives.
For Argyll has observed, analysed and written on a host of marketing initiatives in and for Argyll over some years and the current overarching initiative, branding Argyll and the Isles, is in our evidenced and considered judgment the one with the legs for the job.
It has got unprecedentedly widescale buy in. It needs universal buy in. This is a time for everyone to get behind a single muscular initiative for Argyll and the Isles. It is emphatically not a time for yet more splinter groups.
The logic is irrefutable. If market awareness of Argyll and the Isles is driven upwards strongly, it benefits every area within that territory.
Where, as now, market awareness of Argyll and the Isles is low, who is going even to look at a pocket area within it?
If we act together, we can lobby to get the infrastructure right – and however attractive any area is, getting there pleasureably and without breaking the axle of your car is an entry point qualifier.
We need to remember that people are not short of choices of places to go – and within Scotland itself.
We all need to work together to put Argyll and the Isles on the map – buoyed by the best possible information on our own part of it and most importantly, supported by quality improvements in all goods, services and service ethos.
And what we do not need is more talk, We need more action – which is what the Argyll and the Isles initiative is working ferociously hard to make happen.This sounds very much like a self-centred business initiative careless of the wider good. Argyll needs business enterprises but it does not need those to rubbish and subvert in their own narrow interests a genuinely beneficial and hard won umbrella initiative.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Iain McCallum: the human bridge between Campbeltown and Heroes Challenge UK
Alan – we’ll try to get a message to the team for you – and will pass on your email to them for dir3ect contact.
The communications side of things is a weak link – not just with wifi and mobile signal problems but with accurate information on ETAs and even destinations.
We spent the afternoon today chasing around unsuccessfully to find them at their stated destination in Campbeltown – confirmed before we set off to drive – when in fact they finished at The Putechan Hotel, which is on the west coast of Kintyre and well short of Campbeltown. Very frustrating.
We did see the team doing the hard stuff though – passing them on the way south. They were cycling in two clusters, impressively easily and very disciplined in the way they were dealing with traffic streams behind them.
You should know that we now understand that they will row tomorrow from Campbeltown to Glenarm and not to Ballycastle; and that it looks as if they will row back not form Newcastle but from Bangor to Portpatrick.
They’ll be delighted to see you mi-channel. Great idea.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Where are we now?
The difference is that the new ferry to Campbeltown had an arrival time and actually arrived.
A major part of what we work to do is to support initiatives at all levels that are focused on regeneration and are driven by positive, creative energies that make things happen.
Campbeltown wins hands down over Kilmory any minute of any day on these criteria – and we never spare ourselves travelling and hard work on a cause that has some hope of going somewhere.
And just in case you are implying that this was a jolly – which we never do: I myself drove to Campbeltown – 1 hr 30m – did the work and drove back again immediately.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Where are we now?
This amusing spin disguises the fact that there was no political ‘speculation’.
There was formally recorded political realignment and manoeuvering by all councillors – which was done in some urgency before the council meeting, yet appears to have stalled – for some reason and for the time time being at least.
Councillors do not seem to realise that this adds to the alienation of voters rather than assuage concerns.
- Big welcome at Campbeltown for new Ardrossan ferry
We understand she carried about 60 passengers and although, flying around to catch as much as possible, we didn’t have time to count the cars coming off, we did look out for this and there were a respectable number of them.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Councillor McCuish leads again
We appreciate that it is inconvenient for a light to be shone on doings your party would prefer to keep hidden in shady places from those it asks to vote for it.
That is a dishonourable contract.
As the former Alliance of Independent Councillors [which had nothing at all do with Michael Russell ] knows very well, when it was damaging Argyll and Bute by its conduct during the 2010-11 schools closure wars, we were even more vigilant in keeping them under scrutiny and publishing on their manoeuvres.
We had to be even more vigilant because they were skilled at keeping things under wraps – where the SNP has conducted its acts of political genocide en plein air. All anyone has had to do is draw up a chair.
It should be obvious from our stance in recent weeks that we have no ‘vendetta’ against Councillor Dick Walsh, whom we dealt with arguably more harshly than we have done with Mr Russell.
A central function of our role is to contribute to the holding to account of those elected to serve the people. We do our best to fulfil this fairly – and hard. But we have no vendetta against anyone.
In Mr Russell’s case we simply feel he is a hot air balloon who has imploded over Argyll and done a great deal of harm – profoundly so to his own party, which we used to support. The evidence for our view is in the public domain.
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