THIRTY-five business owners and managers in Maybole this week have agreed to set up a network to support tourism businesses across the area.
Held at the Carrick Centre and hosted by the Carrick Tourism Development Project (CTDP), delegates heard a motivating presentation on the process, challenges, costs and benefits of the tourism business group in Visit Lanarkshire and decided this is the right time to establish a similar network in Carrick.
Stephen Balfour, economic development officer of Visit Lanarkshire, talked about the partnership working in Lanarkshire where, over the past decade, the public and private sectors have worked together to bring more tourists to the area to the benefit of local businesses and the wider community. Companies in Carrick would be prepared to contribute competition prizes and special offers to support bigger promotional campaigns which would be feasible with the support of many.
Networks also take time commitment and the group recognised that today’s businesses have to be involved in many partnerships and initiatives to be successful but that the local one is essential to help market the area.
CTDP will help to get the network up and running by this autumn and would like to hear from all interested parties via Michael@carrickayrshire.com Peter Mason, Chair of Carrick Community Council’s Forum (CCCF) which established the CTDP said: “The CTDP is working at a fast pace and going from strength to strength. We consulted with over 400 members of the community to create the new Carrick brand, website and other marketing materials and now we are extending our approach to supporting local businesses.“ CTDP has already established its own website www.carrickayrshire.com aimed at visitors and tourists. For the first time ever, a top quality custom site has been created featuring information on all of Carrick’s tourism products and services including the wide range of gift shops, B&Bs, restaurants, tours, outdoor activities and visitor attractions.
The unique tourism initiative, CTDP, is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Ayrshire LEADER 2007-2013 Programme. Mr. Mason said he was committed to the CTDP and to the new business initiative because of his personal love of the area which he described as: “A most beautiful part of Scotland with scenery so stunning that it takes your breath away.”
Visit www.carrickayrshire.com for more information.