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Hot on the heels of the successful launch of Wild About Argyll in Glasgow at the end of January, Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC) has issued its key statistics and achievements between 2011 and 2016.
As AITC prepares for its sixth annual tourism summit, which this year will be held in the Lochawe Hotel, Lochawe, on March 21, the release of this document underlines the importance of tourism to the economy of the region and the significant effect the body has had on the tourism industry in Argyll and the Isles.
Scottish Government statistics show in the period from 2011 to 2014, Argyll and the Isles comprehensively outperformed Scotland as a whole in terms of tourism. The research shows:
* Argyll and the Isles total visitor spend increased from £199m to £270m – an increase of 36 per cent compared with four per cent for Scotland.
* Argyll and the Isles overseas visitor spend rose from £36m to £46m – an increase of 28 per cent against 23 per cent for Scotland.
* Argyll and the Isles Sustainable Tourism GVA rose from £81m to £127m – an increase of 57 per cent compared with 29 per cent for Scotland.
* Argyll and the Isles turnover rose from £167m to £227m – an increase of 36 per cent against 15 percent for Scotland.
According to the Visitor Attraction Monitor, the greatest percentage increase in visitors to attractions by council area between 2015 and 2016 was in Argyll and the Isles at 21.9 per cent compared to 4.9 per cent for Scotland as a whole.
AITC chairman Gavin Dick is delighted by how far the organisation has come in five years. He said: ‘Five years ago we were a group of tourism businesses and individuals with a vision. With a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone involved, we have turned that vision into a reality.
‘There simply is no group better equipped to the task of delivering tourism’s economic benefits to the region than AITC.’