The Clyde and Hebridean Ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), has put new zing in its popular Explore holiday guide.
The name of the game is to encourage more visitors to plan and book a trip to the islands on Scotland’s west coast.
Martin Dorchester, CalMac's MD - who is speaking on this very toipc at the upcoming Argyll and the Isles 2013 Tourism Summit at Mount Stuart on Bute - says: 'We were concerned that Explore wasn’t doing what it was intended to do - as a pre-planning guide especially for first-time or infrequent visitors.
' We decided therefore to go back to basics and look at how it could be used to encourage more people to travel to Scotland’s islands; and to make it easier for them to plan and book their ferry travel.
'This helped us identify what was missing from the brochure and, by putting ourselves into the shoes of visitors, we have been able to make the information and booking process easier to understand.
'It still contains the important information on who we are, what we do, where we travel to, where to stay, things to do and see - plus timetables and fares.
'Now, however, it is done in a way that we think is easier to navigate.
'We’ve also retitled it, Go Explore and taken some fares and routes out of the formal timetable sections to give examples of prices, showing how easy it is to get to the islands and how little it can cost.'
There's an immediate energy in the subtle tweak to Go Explore which should have a positive impact.
Mr Dorchester also says: 'CalMac is delighted to be supporting the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, which celebrates Scotland’s breathtaking scenery and unique natural heritage. No-where epitomises Scotland’s natural beauty better than the islands we serve [Ed: and the variety of characterful mainland port used] and the guide contains ideas on how and where visitors can best experience it.'
The 2013 Go Explore holiday guide, including CalMac’s current and Summer timetable which comes into effect on 28th March and runs up to October 2013, is now available online at the CalMac website here. You can't miss it. It's in a spash box, usefully right in everyone's face, just where it needs to be - at the top of the home page.