Disney-Pixar’s Brave represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the whole of Scottish tourism, including Argyll. The response to the movie has been overwhelmingly positive. It will be seen by millions of people in more than 70 countries and we estimate that the added interest the film generates in visiting Scotland will boost the economy by £140 million.
We were disappointed to see it suggested in the above posting that, by sending out invitations to stakeholders to a Screen Machine Brave event in Lochgilpead on August 8, we have in some way “lured” people away from the screening of the film at the Oban Phoenix, which takes place five days earlier.
We don’t believe that this is the case and we are delighted to see that the Oban Phoenix is re-opening with such a fantastic event.
Choosing a location for a tourism industry event in Argyll is always a challenge, as any choice will have travel implications for a large proportion of those businesses and stakeholders we would like to attend.
Any choice will come as great news to those within the vicinity, and may simultaneously attract some criticism from those more distant. Our general policy for making these choices – both for VisitScotland events and for Argyll & the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership events – is to do our best to move them around the area.
We have held many events in Oban over the years, and we will continue to do so in future. However, this is one occasion where an appraisal of the circumstances has led us to a different part of the area.
Our main reason for deciding on Lochgilphead in this case was the opportunity presented by the Screen Machine to have an exclusive screening there for businesses and partners. This will give us the freedom to watch Brave together in a business context, and discuss the campaign around the film without detracting from the cinema experience of the general public.
Lochgilphead was also a natural choice because of the connection to the film of Kilmartin Glen. This was one of the real Scottish locations that inspired a setting in the film, and so provides an appropriate context for a discussion on the film’s tourism potential.
In making the decision for Lochgilphead, we did consider the reopening of the Phoenix. We were satisfied that Lochgilphead was distant enough not to provide unhelpful competition to the Phoenix and close enough to still attract guests who were keen to see Brave in the business context we intended with our invitation.
We hope this clears up any confusion.
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