Argyll and the Isles Tourism is seeing hard results for its efforts, demonstrating its success in raising Argyll’s profile in one of our major visitor markets and in promoting the achievements of Argyll’s tourism businesses.
Scotland Outdoors magazine is to carry Argyll and the Isles Tourism branding on half of its pages – with a focus running from Kintyre and the Isles to Mid Argyll. The HIAL [Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd] magazine is also to carry the brand.
Both of these initiatives will be targeted at specific market sectors important for Argyll.
Both CCN online and the Association of American Travel Agents (11,000 members) carried a feature on Scottish Tourism after AICT’s CEO, Mike Story. had squired them round Argyll on familiarisation trips.
Interestingly, withe the CNN and ATTA reps being familiarised with many parts of Scotland, they singled out one region – Argyll and the Isles – as their focus and even carried a link to the AICT website website.
In the 2013 Thistle Awards, we have already reported that no fewer than 11 businesses in Argyll have been nominated for the awards – one of them AICT itself.
But the telling fact is that last year Argyll and the Isles only had four nominations. With 11 this time around, the effort being put in by the tourism industry here, with its promotion by AICT, can be seen to be making a strong impact in raising the visibility of Argyll’s tourism businesses.
James Ruggia, executive editor covering Europe and Pacific Asia for TravelPulse.com, in a piece published just over a month ago on 18th April, The State of Scotland Tourism, wrote:
‘Another sign of the sophistication for Scotland’s tourism can be seen in the way different regions are beginning their own promotions and creating cooperative ventures between businesses that might normally compete. Roughhead calls it “coopetition.” For example, the Argyll and the Isles group, while still in its infancy, is a promising example of a region that is bringing together disparate parts from hiking tours and restaurants to hotels and seaplane transfers to Loch Lomond in order to create a product with one face but many moving parts.
‘Working with these people you can assemble a Scottish experience with incredible natural components in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, whiskey tasting, golf and some genuine gourmet artisanal experiences like a salmon or oyster tasting at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. You can arrange meetings with the Duke and Duchess of Argyll at Inveraray Castle. The Duke, who can trace his family back to the 8th century, is also the head of the Campbell clan. “There are about 700 companies participating in Argyll and the Isles tourism,” says Argyll spokesman Mike Story, and we are collaborating together to create a truly unique visitor experience”.
‘When you look at how fine tuned the marketing of Scottish tourism is today, with its diverse span of U.S. travel markets that range from the most sophisticated with their love of Scotch, golf and castles to the shore excursion groups from cruise ships, it’s important to remember that big time international tourism to Scotland really began 80 years ago this year. Indeed, it really started when a lady named Aldie McKay spotted a serpent swimming in Loch Ness in 1933. Coincidentally, Mrs. McKay just so happened to own a hotel overlooking the lake.’
Things really have changed.