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Tourism - Building on Success - Argyll Enterprise Week

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Corran Halls

54 The Esplanade


PA34 5AB

United Kingdom

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Argyll Enterprise Week’s Tourism Day is jam packed with talks, workshops and a market place to inspire, inform and connect. The day runs from 9.00am to 5.00pm in the Corran Halls, Oban with a programme of activity allowing you to dip into the topics that mean the most to you, network with businesses from across the region, and identify practical actions to help drive forward your individual business ambitions.

The day will kick off with a key note speech on Why Tourism is the World’s Best Industry delivered by Gordon Campbell Gray who lives just north of Oban, owns Campbell Gray Hotels who develop and operate luxury hotels around the world and who recently acquired the Machrie Hotel on Islay.

Data will be shared on how the industry is faring here in Argyll – with recent government statistics demonstrating that our area has comprehensively been out-performing Scotland as a whole - but what has this year been like – and what does the future hold? How can we as the tourism sector equip ourselves for what lies ahead and what can you do as an individual business?

Now, possibly more than ever, businesses are facing rising costs which are making it increasingly difficult to grow your bottom line. To help us understand the big picture, how this is affecting businesses across the country and what strategies are being put in place, Caroline Warburton from the Scottish Tourism Alliance will provide an update on their recent survey – and then introduce various speakers, workshops and markets stalls to help you with practical advice on tackling the issues which are affecting you the most.

The talks, workshops and market stalls will focus on:

  • Your Customers
  • Your Digital
  • Your Costs
  • Your People
  • Your Voice

Your Customers

Customer Care is a key priority for Argyll and Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC), and last year Argyll & the Isles signed up to the WorldHost Destination Accreditation Programme. To date nearly 400 individuals have been accredited and 127 businesses have taken part. Our target is to get 200 businesses accredited by the end of 2018 – and we will have help on hand in the marketplace from People First, Business Gateway and AITC to let you know what the training involves and how to get your team trained and your business accredited on this international programme. David Adams McGilp will explain how VisitScotland (VS) are responding to changes in what our customers are seeking throughout their customer journey and the importance of strategiuc pasrtnerships.

Your Digital

Keith Paterson from VisitScotland (VS) will talk about ‘Scottish Tourism in the Digital World’ providing everyone with insights into what our customers are looking for in the digital world and what VS are doing to meet those needs – and how individual businesses can get involved. Gordon Black from the Digital Tourism Scotland team will also provide some very practical tips on ‘Turning Clicks into Customers’ and The Lane Agency, who are working with AITC, will outline the key principles behind sharing content to promote the destination and all it has to offer.

Your Costs

The rising cost of doing business is on everyone’s mind – so to help you with practical advice on tackling the issues which are affecting your bottom line we have teamed up with some of the Scottish Tourism Alliance’s patrons offering expert advice on mitigating rising costs.

Your People

A session will be delivered by Jackie Cannon from the Way Ahead People – focussing on Tourism as a Career of Choice, valuing your people and how to get the most out them. We have all heard Richard Branson’s mantra …. ‘train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough they don’t want to’ `and Jackie will provide both practical and motivational advice on what that could look like in your business. Skills Development Scotland will also be on hand to share more about modern apprenticeships and their new Skills for Growth initiative which provides a free skills diagnostic service for your business.

Your Voice

As we deliver our marketing messages on line who are we aiming them at and are we confident they are listening to us? Peter Griffiths from Calmac will provide some top tips on marketing messages and the individual.

Collaboration is the Name of the Game - and here in Argyll we have a unique network of local marketing groups and sectoral groups working closely with AITC. If you are not already involved in your local or sectoral group help will be on hand to pin point which might be best for you. We will also have updates on what each group is doing and have a programme of mini summits for your to sign up for - which we will be rolling out immediately following Argyll Enterprise Week in November.

Wild About Argyll

2017 has been a big year with the Wild About Argyll awareness-raising campaign launched in January in Glasgow’s West End - aimed at raising the appeal of Argyll and the Isles to a much younger, more active audience living on our doorstep. A big part of the day will be to provide everyone with an update on the campaign which emerged from the Mark Beaumont adventure and film project last summer and which has generated lots of content which can readily be shared by individual businesses. Mark also provided insightful comments and some very practical advice following his 12 day epic adventure and this will be brought to life in a number of ways across the day.

The current campaign will be nearing the end and we will have various stats and outcomes to share with you – and also set out the next steps for Wild About Argyll and how individual businesses can get involved. Help will be on hand to guide you on sharing the incredible content now available and the key messages we can all be driving home through our individual channels to further consolidate Argyll’s positioning as Scotland’s Adventure Coast.

Wild About Argyll Bike Packing Trail

Over the last few weeks Markus Stitz of Bike Packing Scotland has been working with AITC, SNH and FCS to develop a Bike Packing Trail across mainland Argyll, with links to the islands. Markus will introduce this new Wild About Argyll route and offer top tips for businesses along its length.

Our Ambitions for 2017-2020

A major focus towards the end of the day will be to share AITC’s ambitious plans to develop three priority sectors following the announcement of Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s three year funding package for 2017-2020:

  • adventure and wildlife
  • food and drink
  • events and festivals

If you are engaged in any of these sectors – or have plans to get involved over the next 3 years – there will be several opportunities to sign up to new activity and to share your own thoughts and ideas on what could really make a difference.

Marine Facilities & Oban North Pier Pontoons

Argyll and Bute Council have multiple piers, pontoons, harbours, and slips used by mariners in every format. We will be on hand to provide information and guides on what facilities we have available and any locational data you may require.

In Oban we have the new North Pier Pontoons and visitor facilities. The project manager and BID4OBAN will be available to answer any questions on how the new facility can help grow your business. We can provide contacts, technical information, local business capacity and services available, and any other information required to help you maximise use of Oban and all the town can do

Argyll Enterprise Week’s Tourism Day on 7th November promises something for everyone no matter what your business interest is – or might be – and the full AITC team will be on hand to chat through any issues, ideas and opportunities you’d like to share.

Individuals are invited to book a place for the full day and then devise their own tailored diary from our pick and mix programme.

A full list of market stalls is posted below – anyone who has not yet booked and would like to have a stall please contact

Projects and Initiatives

  • AITC and its DMO Members
  • Oban North Bay Pontoons
  • Kilmartin Museum Redevelopment Project
  • Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation & Visitor Centre
  • Food from Argyll
  • The Hebridean Whale Trail
  • The Dunoon Project
  • ACT Hubs
  • Love Loch Lomond - Business

Help and Advice

  • Business Gateway
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Skills Development Scotland
  • Co-Innovate
  • People First and World Host
  • VisitScotland
  • Year of Young People
  • Digital Tourism Scotland - Phase 2
  • Developing the Young Workforce
  • Scotland Food & Drink
  • MDG Group - Business Cost Consultants
  • WorldPay
  • UHI - Argyll College
  • Entrepreuneurial Scotland

Date and Time


Corran Halls

54 The Esplanade


PA34 5AB

United Kingdom

View Map

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