A major tourism conference will take place in Stornoway today (Tuesday) which will coincide with the launch of a new local tourism strategy up to the year 2020.
The event is organised by The Outer Hebrides Tourism Industry Association (OHTIA) and is expected to be the largest ever tourism conference in the Outer Hebrides.
The theme of the conference, sponsored by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, VisitScotland and Loganair, is “Turning Assets into Experiences” and there are four primary objectives linked to the new local tourism strategy Tourism Outer Hebrides 2020:
-To launch and raise awareness of the new tourism strategy for the islands and to set this in a Scottish context.
-To highlight examples of activity that are already underway and to inspire new activity which will help realise the ambition contained in Tourism Outer Hebrides 2020.
-To provide attendees with immediate opportunities to sign up for workshops, training and further support.
-To provide much needed opportunities for everyone engaged in tourism across the islands to meet, network and explore collaborative opportunities.
The programme features an excellent mix of speakers ranging from James Stewart, CEO of the Royal Yachting Association Scotland to best-selling author Peter May who set his recent Lewis Trilogy on the islands. All the speakers have direct experience of what the Outer Hebrides has to offer and how the industry can focus its energy on turning the islands’ truly outstanding assets into high quality, value for money, authentic experiences for visitors.
The conference comprises a series of talks and breakout sessions giving attendees an insight into a range of key topics delivered by organisations and individuals including the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Caledonian MacBrayne, Wilderness Scotland and The Kintyre Way.