VisitArran encouraging everyone to get involved

Chief executive of VisitArran Sheila Gilmore.

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Standfirst

VisitArran works tirelessly to promote Arran across the UK and to the wider world. But like all tourism organisations, its work has been severely curtailed during the pandemic. Here chief executive Sheila Gilmore explains the work of VisitArran and looks forward to the future.

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We’re enjoying a much-needed busy summer season on Arran.  But this is a season like no other. Excitement over welcoming people back to our lovely island has been plagued with ferry issues, uncertainty over re-opening, concerns about Covid and ever-changing regulations and recommendations for everyone.

It’s also not about bringing lots of people to Arran. It’s about bringing people who really want to see and appreciate our beautiful island. Value over volume, if you like.

VisitArran is Arran’s destination management organisation (DMO). People often get us muddled with VisitScotland, the national tourism agency, which operates from the iCentre at Brodick Pier. VisitArran is a separate organisation, funded by more than 250 local businesses. We work with these businesses to develop our tourism offering, feed back to stakeholders and promote Arran as a great destination.

Since March 2020, VisitArran staff have been working from home and this is likely to continue.


We provide information to businesses on all manner of things – regulations, funding, marketing opportunities, upcoming webinars and queries from visitors.

Living on an island, it’s even more important to work together, so VisitArran encourages collaboration between businesses. This also makes press trips much easier for VisitArran to co-ordinate.

Tourism on Arran affects the community in many ways. For me, as an islander, community is key and it underpins everything I do, in and out of my working environment.

If something is good for the community, it’s good for the resident, so it will be good for the visitor. It’s a balance. I realise not everyone may see the immediate positives, but the reality is, we can all reap the benefits.

For example, without income from visitors, Arran may not have such fabulous amenities like indoor swimming pools and leisure centres, attractions to visit, island events or tearooms or coffee shops in which to meet and have a blether. Tourism brings employment for many, not just in  hospitality, but in shops, attractions and in the supply chain.

It’s also vital to remember all visitors and residents must respect our fabulous natural environment. We have a responsibility as stewards of Arran to leave our island just as beautiful for the next generation.

So leave only footprints. Keep dogs on leads around wildlife and livestock. Drive with care. Set examples to others who perhaps aren’t just as respectful. And most of all #BeKind.

To find out more about VisitArran, contact info@visitarran.com or phone 01770 302043.

 

Chief executive of VisitArran Sheila Gilmore. NO_B32sheila01

The VisitArran logo. NO_B32sheila02