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Ayrshire Rural Tourism Initiative


As you may know, a new tourism team for Ayrshire & Arran was established last summer.  Supported by all three Ayrshire Councils, manager Ros Halley now leads a small dedicated team tasked with making the most of Ayrshire’s coast, land and heritage.  Focusing on the areas considered by the Ayrshire & Arran tourism strategy as having the greatest potential for increasing visitor numbers and extending their stay, the team has already developed four full proposals and another two draft proposals.  These proposals will kick-start new, strategic pan-Ayrshire tourism projects. 

In addition to the core strategic activities, there have also been great efforts made to tackle some of the over-arching issues such as tourism signposting, strengthening links to the voluntary and charity sectors and improving communications.  Steady progress is being made on all fronts as the team starts on the key tasks of improving the attractiveness of what the area offers, attracting more visitors and increasing visitors’ spend across the three Council areas. 

Plan for the Future

I met with the tourism team at the end of 2012 and it was agreed that there was substantial scope to improve the promotion of rural tourism businesses in Ayrshire to include accommodation, country sports, historic sites, events, garden tours, walks, outdoor pursuits, food and drink – to name but a few.  With this in mind, the tourism team have agreed to take forward a project with Scottish Land & Estates members in Ayrshire who have a tourism interest.  The overall aim of this project would be to work with the tourism team to better promote rural tourism business and activity.  

SO here’s where I need your help…

In order to progress this, I have been asked to contact all of our members across Ayrshire to gauge interest in taking forward this proposed joint project to enhance the rural tourism industry – but we need to be able to show the tourism team that we wish to work with them to collaboratively promote what is on offer.

To prove our willingness and interest, all I initially need is for a number of Ayrshire rural tourism ventures to come back to me stating a wish to be a part of this project to show potential tourists what we have to offer in and around the Ayrshire countryside.

If we have sufficient interest, the Ayrshire Tourism Team will then take forward Phase 2 of the project which will involve them contacting those who have agreed to undertake a short telephone survey.  This survey will allow them to collate additional information on rural tourism in the area and guide us in the next stages of the project.

This is a huge opportunity for members in Ayrshire to engage with the Tourism Team at a personal level – allowing for industry input and direction. 

What next…

So, all that is needed at this stage is completion of the 5 questions below (or complete via the attached document), returned to me by Monday 18 February.

So, let’s work together to increase visitor numbers to rural Ayrshire and show them what is on offer!

 I look forward to hearing from many of you.

Kind regards 


  1. Please describe the tourism business / activities that form part of your overall business e.g. holiday accommodation; events; house tours; outdoor pursuits etc
  2. Do you provide any form of country sports?  Yes / No and if so, please provide details.
  3. Would you be willing for a member of the Ayrshire Tourism Team to contact you by telephone for completion of a short survey?  Yes / No
  4. If yes, on what telephone number should they contact you?
  5.  Would you consider attending a future workshop to look at rural tourism in Ayrshire – this would allow for open discussion with the tourism team to inform them of where assistance is required / what is on offer / how things could be done better; information on promotion and marketing etc?  Yes / No


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