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The future of the Ayrshire Tourism Team in your hands

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The Ayrshire Tourism Team

Act NOW to save the team……..

Please help and email the Councillors, the Chief Executives of the councils and anyone else who might influence this decision which will be taken next Tuesday 19th Jaunary.

Are you aware that the 3 Ayrshire Councils are about to ‘abolish’ the best thing that Ayrshire Tourism has had in years? The Ayrshire Tourism Team, established just over 3 years ago, panning the 3 Ayrshire Council’s Tourism Strategy. A passionate team, promoting the total Ayrshire product with Actions and not just words. The 3 councils want to revert to being responsible for their ‘own’ product – they say with a strong Ayrshire Tourism Strategy, but with NO ‘dedicated’ team.

Said, by other Councils and the Scottish Government, that the Ayrshire Tourism Team’ led by Ros Heally, is an Exemplar on how to promote an areas tourism product.

You will all have experienced some of their work, as you are on the delegate list from the Tourism Gatherings which were successful, practical and useful. There are 450 registered on their Business to Business web site. The water Sports web site is an exemplar within the UK. The creation of the Country Sports Group and the publication of the Ayrshire Larder (great food and drink in Ayrshire and Arran) and many of their other accomplishments can be viewed here:

Tourism Trends for Ayrshire and Arran to end 2014  (Tourism team in operation from 2013)

Indicator 2011 2012 2013 2014 Overall change
Visitor numbers 3.58m 3.56m ↓ 3.59m↑ 3.62m↑ 2% increase in visitor volume
Tourism revenue (millions) £363.79 £360.30↓ £381.98↑ £423.15↑ 19% increase in economic value
Spend per visitor £101.61 £101.20↓ £106.19↑ £116.92↑ 16% in visitor spend
Tourism employment 8621 8490↓ 8640 ↑ 8823↑ 5% increase

Source: Trend Report for 2013-2014 Global Tourism Solutions UK Ltd

They produce Action whist the council typically produce ‘a plan’.

At a cost of £30,000 (of our money) the council has reviewed how to progress tourism in Ayrshire.

It recommends BETTER communication between the councils and the departments.

At No point does it recommend that the team should be abolished.

Our ‘3’ individual Ayrshire authorities claim it is not working to their liking Why Not?

Competition: they are worried that one area is having more time spent on it than its rival!

Are they getting value for their financial input?

If it is a matter of budgets then why are the councils paying Visit Scotland £168,000 for a job the tourism team is doing so much better.  Other councils do not pay Visit Scotland anything e.g. Edinburgh and Glasgow and they are still promoted by VS, as it is their duty as a Government body to promote ALL Tourism in Scotland. visitscotland funding

The councils are trying to tell the industry that the team is not working when it clearly is.

Having pan Ayrshire specialist tourism expertise through a successful team is an achievement the 3 councils should be proud of and shouting about from the roof tops instead of undermining and trying to stifle their work.

As I see it No dedicated Team we are back to No real Action and another economic downturn and Ayrshire once again off the visitor map.

My visitor numbers are up since the tourism team has been in action and I want it to stay that way. A member of the tourism team is currently part the working group for the Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink.

The Volunteer Training Group now led by ‘Colin’, showcases Ayrshire (at the Food Festival/Flower show/ the Air Show etc.) but also when 1000s of passengers disembark from the visiting passenger liners. Colin has been told to go back to his job at the swimming pool……..now who will welcome  the passengers of the cruise liners’ in the future and more immediately during the Scottish Open Championship at Troon.

The Tourism Team have been working towards this opportunity to showcase the whole of Ayrshire during the open and now they are being told that their contracts end at the end of March.

BUT ONLY IF THE LEADERSHIP PANEL RATIFY THIS DECISION ON TUESDAY 19TH JANUARY

So please help and email the Leadership Councillors, the Chief Executives of the councils, your councillors and anyone else who might influence this decision. (I believe that North and East Ayrshire have ruled on this decision already but it has to be ratified by all 3 councils to go ahead.)

If we can get this decision stopped then maybe we can have private sector input to secure the team’s place for the future. Please email me a copy of your communications with the council and then I will present them to the council before their meeting

Councillors contacts

Tourism Team 1

Tourism team 2

Tourism team 3

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