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Cold Water Conference dips into Bid Fund

Brodick Bay, Arran

VisitScotland announces support for Arran event

The world’s first Cold Water Island Tourism Conference will receive support from the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, it was announced today.  
Speakers from Denmark, the Netherlands and the Isle of Man will share best tourism practice at the event, which will take place on the Isle of Arran from 17-19 March.  
David Adams McGilp of VisitScotland will also address delegates on the importance of marine tourism and the visitor economy.


The conference, described as “a new initiative to promote, celebrate and help develop tourism on small cold water island destinations around the world”, is expected to welcome more than 150 delegates and is set to provide a £183,000 boost for the local economy.  

At the end of last year, the Scottish Government announced a £1 million extension of the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, which has already helped to secure 72 association conferences over the next seven years.  

Kerry Watson of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism team said: “We are delighted to help support the world’s first Cold Water Island Tourism Conference on Arran through the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund. The fund is open to business events throughout Scotland, not only in the cities, but in rural areas. It can be for conferences of 50 or 5,000 delegates, all of which play a vital role in boosting the visitor economy in Scotland.”  

VisitArran and North Ayrshire Council are two of the event’s key sponsors and the conference will include presentations from a number of speakers from other cold water island destinations.  

Lars H. Olsen, CEO of the Knowledge Centre of Coastal Tourism in Denmark, will be among those giving a presentation to delegates, while Ina Nagtegaal will talk about the tourism industry on the Dutch island of Ameland.  

Other speakers include Alistair Dobson, Managing Director of Taste of Arran, and Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage on the Isle of Man.  

Sheila Gilmore, VisitArran's Executive Director, said: “To host such an event as this is a real coup for Arran, and our tourism industry. VisitScotland’s support will help us deliver this exciting new initiative about rural tourism and cold water islands networks, offering a unique opportunity to listen to key tourism experts from across Europe, whilst sharing experiences and networking with old and new contacts.”  

There are nearly 800 islands around Scotland, with most located in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.

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