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Tobermory Mull

About us

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative Ltd (AITC) is the strategic Destination Management Organisation for Argyll & The Isles. 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, Calmac, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.

We work at a 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 23 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 £830,000 between 2011 and 2017.

An independent assessment was undertaken late in 2016 to review AITC and tourism growth over the last five years. This assessment concluded that Argyll & the Isles had comprehensively out performed Scotland as whole in tourism growth in recent years according to Government statistics.

The Board
As at September 2017, the AITC board currently consists of ten directors

Calum Ross – Oban Lorn and the Isles Tourism Alliance
Gavin Dick – Cowal Marketing Group
Victoria Winters – Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance
Niall Macalister Hall – Explore Kintyre and Gigha
Fiona McPhail – Kyles Marketing Group
Aidan Canavan – Visit Bute
Neal Goldsmith - Marketing Mull and Iona

Cathy Craig – Entrepreneurial Scotland
Iain Jurgensen – Portavadie, Loch Fyne
Andy Roger – Cameron House, Loch Lomond

Calum Ross is the AITC Chairperson and Iain Jurgensen is the Vice Chairperson.

Honorary Chairperson
The Duchess of Argyll

Carron Tobin provides freelance development management support, contact , Janet West PR and social media support, contact, Eve Macfarlane web editor support, contact

Ainsley Smith and Co, 21 Argyll Square, Oban, PA34 4AT, provide accountancy services.

AITC has a team of freelance development agents who have been working with our members to grow capacity at a local level. We will shortly be embarking on a further phase of development agent activity For contact information for your local agent please email

In 2015 we appointed the Lane Agency to work with us on developing our digital marketing strategy and then support the delivery of this. The Lane are now working with AITC on the delivery of the year long Wild About Argyll campaign funded by Argyll & Bute Council, Visit Scotland Growth Fund and AITC.

Following the successful delivery of the 3 year development programme 2014– 2017, AITC is finalising a further three year programme for 2017-2020. AITC has received funding support from many agencies and partners with Argyll & Bute Council and HIE providing the core funding which has then been 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, Sustrans and other partners.

Strategic Marketing of Argyll & The Isles
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 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.

Wild About Argyll
During 2017 AITC is rolling out the Wild About Argyll campaign with funding support from A&BC and VS Growth Fund. This year long campaign is primarily digital and is aimed at raising awareness of Argyll & The Isles as Scotland’s Adventure Coast. The campaign is aimed at a much younger, more active market than we traditionally enjoy and is the first genuinely pan Argyll campaign rolled out at any scale. Interim results are impressive and a full evaluation will be available at the end of 2017.

Tourism Argyll & The Isles 2020
AITC, working with partners has devised the Argyll & The Isles response to the national tourism strategy– Tourism Argyll & The Isles 2020. This forms the basis to the work of the Argyll & The isles Strategic Tourism Partnership Group which consists of A&BC, HIE, VS, Calmac, Scotrail, SNH, FCS, Business Gateway and AITC. For the period 2017-2020 AITC has prioritised adventure tourism, food and drink tourism and events and festivals for product development.

AITC is currently supporting the roll out of Digital Tourism Scotland across the area and including Arran with over 320 people undertaking traiuning and 30 businesses receiving 1-2-1 mentoring. With Customer Care also being a priority, in 2016 AITC agreed to pursue World Host Destination accreditation for the region in partnership with Business Gateway and People 1st. By June 2017 over 330 individuals had been accredited in The Principles of Customer Care, and the current focus is on getting over 200 businesses fully accredited by the end of 2018.
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