|Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative Ltd (AITC) is the key source of information and inspiration in the Argyll and Isles region. AITC was formed in 2012 as a cooperative with its membership being the local marketing and sectoral groups – representing in the region of 1200 business interests. AITC is supported by VisitScotland, Argyll and Bute Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Caledonian MacBrayne, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland. We work at local and national level promoting the region as a must visit destination. Our local organisations cover the second largest geographical area in Scotland, which as well as a vast mainland area includes 24 inhabited islands, each with its own identity and culture.
Our destination organisations cover eight areas: Mull, Iona, Tiree and Coll; Islay, Jura and Colonsay; Oban and Lorn; Kintyre and Gigha; Inveraray, Kilmartin and Knapdale; Bute; Cowal and Loch Lomond and the Clyde Sea Lochs. By working together we have created a strong brand which provides a single regional identity.
AITC is actively influencing strategic decisions affecting the wider area and is recognised as a strategic delivery partner in the recently published Argyll & Bute Economic Forum Report.
The Cooperative has pulled together partnership funding for core costs, capacity building and marketing exceeding £750,000 between 2011 and 2017.
As of the AGM on 30 September 2016, the AITC board currently consists of ten directors
Chrissie Fleming - Visit Cowal
Neal Goldsmith – Visit Mull and Iona
Brian Keating - Visit Helensburgh
Niall Macalister Hall – Kintyre and Gigha Marketing Group
Fiona McPhail – Kyles Marketing Group
Calum Ross – Oban and Lorn Tourism Alliance
Andrew Wilson – Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance
Cathy Craig - Abellio Scotrail
Gavin Dick – Inveraray Jail and Inveraray Marketing Group
Iain Jurgensen – Portavadie, Loch Fyne
Gavin Dick is the AITC Chairperson and Calum Ross is the Vice Chairperson.
Carron Tobin provides development management support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org , Janet West PR support, contact email@example.com, Eve Macfarlane web editor support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ainsley Smith and Co, 21 Argyll Square, Oban, PA34 4AT, provide accountancy services.
AITC has a team of freelance development agents who are working with our members to grow capacity at a local level.
Our area based agents are
Linda Battison – Oban & Lorn
Lynn Jones – Heart of Argyll & Inveraray
Helen Dick – Bute and Cowal
Helen MacDonald – Mull & Iona
Iain Johnstone – Kintyre & Gigha
Bonnie Wood – Islay, Jura and Colonsay
Helensburgh and Clyde Sea Lochs, Tiree and Coll are currently overseen by Carron Tobin, AITC’s freelance development manager.
For contact information for your local agent please email email@example.com.
In 2015 we appointed the Lane Agency to work with us on developing our digital marketing strategy and then support the delivery of this.
Funding has been secured from Argyll and Bute Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise for three years from 2014 – 2017, which is supplemented by support from Caledonian MacBrayne, Scottish Natural Heritage and AITC Membership Subscriptions. Additional funding is also sourced on a project by project basis from Forestry Commission, Scottish Canals and other partners.
In addition to supporting the industry through our development team this funding allows AITC to undertake strategic marketing by attending VisitScotland EXPO and other travel trade events, developing the exploreargyll web and social media presence on line and to have a catalyst budget to develop specific product development projects and campaigns. We also host an annual tourism summit where we report on our progress and explore next steps with the industry.
AITC, working with partners has devised the Argyll & The Isles response to the national tourism strategy [link to STA site] – Tourism Argyll & The Isles 2020 [link to the rocket]. This is being progressed through the Argyll & The Isles leadership group. Current priorities for AITC are adventure tourism, food and drink tourism and culture & heritage tourism product development and training in digital.