You may now be aware of the changes which will affect tourism in Ayrshire with effect from 31 March 2016, when the pan-Ayrshire Tourism Team will cease to exist as one entity. Essentially each council will organise its own tourism resource in each council area and deliver some pan-Ayrshire activity in a joined up way as and when required.
Members of the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Industry together with Ayrshire Chamber have met with the Local Authorities to discuss this situation and it is proposed that the best way forward is to work towards forming an industry led “VisitAyrshire” type organisation. Whilst this organisation would be looking for support from the public sector, in order to put industry in the driving seat, and form a truly industry led organisation, businesses from the private sector would need to contribute financially and enthusiastically participate in the process.
We already have pledges of support (in principle) from a number of high profile Ayrshire businesses and we are looking for others to join us.
The group will be at liberty to make their own decisions and future plans on a commercial basis and will aim to make Ayrshire a better, more successful tourist destination. We would aim to have at least one dedicated high level staff member with administrative support to represent the interests of the industry, bring more business to Ayrshire, to collaborate and work with all existing tourism groups, and the local authorities within Ayrshire and beyond. Inevitably this will benefit the economy of Ayrshire and all of its businesses.
The new Pan Ayrshire Tourism Group is supported by Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and the Ayrshire B & B Association (ABBA). It is currently chaired by David Mann (Scottish Maritime Museum), vice chair Linda Johnston (Auchrannie Resort), members - Liz Drysdale (ABBA), Charlotte Rostek (Dumfries House), Nat Edwards (NTS), Moira Birtwistle (Ayrshire College), Susan Crosthwaite (Cosses Country House), Toni Dawson (Sugar and Spice), Val Russell (Ayrshire Chamber), Sheila Gilmore (VisitArran). This is an interim group which will change as we move forward.
We are looking for expressions of interest from forward thinking businesses and individuals who are willing to contribute financially (in principle) and work together to help shape the future to make Ayrshire a viable force in tourism. A meeting will be called very soon to discuss the way forward.
Please contact Val Russell at Ayrshire Chamber if you would like to hear more about being involved in this exciting initiative.
Tel: 01292 678666