Local tourism businesses in Ballantrae got together recently to hear about plans to continue developing the Ballantrae Visitor Information Point.
The facility was established by the Ballantrae Development Group (BDG) in Craigiemains Home and Garden Centre in Main Street Ballantrae and other initiatives to support local tourism businesses.
Andy McAlpine, of the BDG (a sub group of the Ballantrae Community Council) explained that the BDG had been very involved in helping to develop the Carrick and Ayrshire and Arran Tourism strategies. The Ballantrae Visitor Information Point had been established by the BDG with financial support from Carrick Futures to show visitors what is available within roughly a 30 mile radius of Ballantrae.
The group keeps in touch with event organisers, places of interest and tourism businesses to ensure that their leaflets are stocked at the Information Point. There is also a video loop showing scenes of Ballantrae and the surrounding area along with pictures of local events.
Andy also described some of the planned developments for Ballantrae’s website at www.ballantrae.org.uk.
Susan Crosthwaite of Cosses Country House, who is also a BDG member, explained about the work the group is doing to promote “Taste Ayrshire” and of the benefits of membership of the Ayrshire Bed and Breakfast Association.
Abigail Coia, Tourist Development Officer with the Ayrshire and Arran Tourism Team demonstrated a tourism industry website recently established to provide advice and resources for local businesses in Ayrshire.
Dr Mhairi McKenna,a BDG member and Chair of the Community Council drew attention to the new Carrick Community Heritage Trail and the Robert the Bruce Trail – both of which feature Ballantrae – and thanked the speakers and the guests for attending.
After the event, Abigail commented: “We have been working with Ballantrae over a number of months and are delighted with the progress that has been made on this local initiative. Meeting with representatives of the local tourism business community at this event highlights the importance of the rural community and how it plays such a vital role in expanding tourism. I am sure that the local Visitor Information Point will be invaluable in helping promote and celebrate the best of what Ayrshire Tourism has to offer visitors to Ballantrae and the surrounding area. It is only when the local tourism industry work together that we can provide a fantastic experience.”
John Orr of Glenapp Castle Hotel, one of the local businesses represented said: “It was great to get together with other Ballantrae tourism businesses. Together we cover all sectors, from cosy holiday houses to 5 star hotels, quality tearooms to local hostelries. It was a great opportunity to pool our resources to build a better local offering. The goal is to attract and keep visitors in the local area for longer. I am sure the Ballantrae Visitor Information Point and the next phase of Ballantrae’s website www.ballantrae.org.uk will benefit us all.”