Moray Chamber of Commerce is to incorporate a tourism development section within its wider remit and is to lead Moray’s tourism strategy under the umbrella of the Moray Economic Partnership.
The announcement comes today (Tuesday) after Moray Council voted to contribute £20,000 funding per year for the next three financial years to promote tourism in Moray. This will be used with £160,000 already contributed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to the partnership project to develop Moray’s tourism assets, co-ordinate events, liaise with local groups and work with stakeholders and allow the Chamber to employ a full-time Tourism Manager working for Moray Speyside.
The Strategy produced by the Moray Economic Partnership aims to double the size of accommodation availability by 2025 and attract tourism in areas such as conferences and educational courses which bring business all year round. It also aims to increase the size and skill levels of the tourism-related workforce with at least 80% of workers living locally and fully trained in customer care.
Key to its success will be an effective partnership of all those involved in delivering tourism across Moray Speyside - both private and public sectors and locally led initiatives such as Elgin BID, Forres Area Community Trust and the Cullen Voluntary Tourist Initiative. Alliances with neighbouring organisations will allow sharing of resources and joint promotions as well as strengthening Moray’s ability to meet tourists’ needs.
Margery McLennan, Executive Director of the Moray Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Tourism and Culture strand on the Moray Economic Partnership said: “Key to Moray Tourism Strategy’s success will be Moray Speyside’s tourism providers working in partnership to focus on value for money and delivering excellent service across the whole region. It is critical that the business community plays a leading role in co-ordinating this which is why we have agreed to incorporate a tourism development section within the Chamber.”
The Tourism strategy will be run as a separate role to the Chamber. Chamber membership will not be a prerequisite.
A major drive is already underway to train personnel in the hospitality business to world class standards of customer care and create attractive products and compelling experiences to draw new markets.