Coastal communities in Moray are preparing to let the world know that they live in one of the finest and largely untapped tourism destinations in Europe.
The Laich Coastal Tourism Group has been formally put in place with the aim of promoting the coastal communities from Findhorn to Lossiemouth.
A joint initiative by the Burghead & Cummingston Community Council, Lossiemouth Community Council and Hopeman Community Association led to agreement this month to form the group.
Along with representatives from local businesses and community groups, the strategy will work to ensure that new tourism facilities are created and those already established are enhanced, with the communities using a joint approach in promoting the entire area.
One of the leading architects of the plan was Burghead community councillor Joan Megson, who has taken on the role of vice-chairman of the new group.
Joan said: “When the new community councils were formed last year it was felt that a wider approach might be taken to promote and enhance facilities in our adjoining communities.
“The two community councils were joined by the Hopeman Community Association and several representatives from local community groups and businesses – and it was clear from the outset there was a common desire to work together.
“We were delighted that Stuart Crowther, editor of insideMoray and already active in the Lossiemouth Community Council and newly formed Lossiemouth Community Development Trust, agreed to chair the new group.
“He is determined to drive this initiative forward and is currently preparing a detailed Aims and Objectives document on which the foundation of our future plans will be laid.
“He aims to visit businesses and community groups along the coastline to discuss the aims of the group and to learn of their hopes and aspirations for this part of the Moray coastline.”
One of the first joint efforts from the group could see simultaneous events taking place along the coastline being linked by a passenger ferry as well as more regular bus tours being organised linking facilities all along the coastline.
Stuart Crowther said: “We are all very encouraged by the support being offered to the group by our local councillors and many businesses and tourism groups.
“I am also personally grateful to the new committee for placing their trust in me and in particular the support offered by such as Jim Royan from the Laich of Moray Initiative and Cameron Taylor from Moray Speyside Tourism.
“There is much that a single community can do to improve facilities for residents and tourists, but there is so much more that can be done when a number of adjoining communities work together.
“As a group we will certainly do everything possible to share our wonderful coastline with many more people from far and wide.”