Tourism network launches nationwide roadshow

Views over Oban Bay will be restored if the lighthouse pier webcam gets its final fix KG_T17_Obanharbour

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Scotland’s community tourism network is launching a nationwide roadshow in a bid to support existing community tourism providers and encourage more communities to take a lead in providing grassroots owned tourism facilities and services.

The roadshow runs until March and will take in 25 locations across Scotland, including venues in Lochaber, the West Highlands, Skye and Argyll.

SCOTO, which launched last year and now has over 100 members across Scotland, hopes the roadshow will raise the profile of community tourism across Scotland, promote networking and inspire more community led tourism enterprises. Its members include museums, outdoor experiences, information centres, glamping pods, cafés, trails and numerous other tourism attractions and services owned and operated by local communities.

SCOTO was launched in a bid to promote community-owned tourism enterprises. Membership has grown rapidly and the body is keen to engage communities that are delivering tourism products and others that may have an interest in developing local tourism facilities.

The roadshow is open to existing SCOTO members, social enterprises and community organisations delivering community tourism, local tourism groups and community groups aspiring to set up a tourism offer.

As well as networking opportunities, the roadshow will offer practical support to local community groups looking to set up a community owned tourism enterprise.

Carron Tobin, a director and founding member of SCOTO, said: “We are looking forward to engaging with potential new members across Scotland. The SCOTO network is diverse and continues to expand as more and more community run tourism enterprises see the advantage of working together. We would encourage anyone who is passionate about supporting local tourism to join our roadshow and meet others in the sector who are working hard to promote community owned tourism.”

She added: “At this time of year, many people are thinking about booking short breaks. We want more people to think about touring Scotland and enjoying the many wonderful attractions we have that are owned and run by local communities. Every pound spent in a local tourism facility is a pound that benefits that local community, and everything that’s spent is reinvested back into the local community, ensuring that some of our remote and rural facilities remain sustainable for the long term. These amazing places also give visitors the chance to experience being a ‘temporary local’ and get to the heart of individual communities across Scotland.”

The roadshow is supported through Inspiring Scotland by the Scottish Government Rural and Island Communities Idea into Action Fund and leads up to a two-day conference and learning exchange at the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingussie from  March 2-3.

Tour dates

Monday 20 February, 9.30am to 1.30pm – Loch Torridon Community Centre

Tuesday 21 February, 9.30am to 1.30pm – An Crubh, SLEAT, Sleat, Skye

Wednesday 22 February, 9.30am to 1.30pm – New Connections, Fort William

Wednesday 22 February, 1.30pm to 5.30pm – Atlantis Leisure Centre, Oban

Thursday 23 February, 9.30am to 1.30pm – Egg Shed, Ardrishaig

Thursday 23 February, 6.30pm to 8.30pm – Virtual Meeting

Friday 24 February, 11pm – 1pm Argyll – Virtual Meeting

To book a place on the roadshow, visit www.scoto.co.uk/b2b