Learning to cruise at a lunchtime event

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LOCHABER businesses are gearing up for the first cruise ship to arrive in Fort William, writes reporter Ellie Forbes.

In preparation for the cruise ship, which is due to arrive on September 28, the Highland Council will be running a free Lunch and Learn event.

The event will inform local businesses about the cruise ship market and what passengers will be looking for when they arrive in Lochaber.

The day will be led by Colin Simpson, the Highland Council’s principal tourism and film officer in conjunction with the Lochaber area’s cruise ship working group.

Area Chairman Councillor Thomas MacLennan said: ‘Cruise business is one of the areas which the council sees as having great potential for growth in Highland and the increased interest in Fort William from cruise companies is an indication of this.

‘Fort William stands to benefit not just from the spend on trips, visiting attractions and shopping from the visitors but also from the spend by the crew who often go ashore to buy daily essentials.

‘This event is an excellent chance for anyone with an interest in making the most of the opportunities arising from the cruise ship visits to get a real insight into the expectations of passengers and how to tap into this lucrative new market.’

The event will be held on Wednesday September 14 from noon to 2pm in the West Highland College, Fort William.