Plans to double the economic boost to Moray brought by visitors was outlined at a Seminar aimed at businesses with an interest in Tourism.
The second annual meeting of the Moray/Speyside Tourism initiative was held at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre at Moray College UHI on Tuesday.
Business leaders from throughout the region joined with representatives from Moray Council and a variety of local and national organisations to discuss how best to boost visitor numbers to Moray/Speyside.
Delegates attended presentations from a mixture of bodies and event organisers to learn more about progress in the industry as well as special events taking place in Moray over the next year.
The Director of the World Orienteering Championships, Paul McGreal, outlined opportunities for local business brought by the championships being held in Moray and the Highlands in August this year. He shared a platform with Piping at Forres Director David Urquhart. Piping at Forres will this year entertain thousands from around the world to the European Pipe Band Championships for a third year – with three more to follow.
Mr McGreal said: “Moray’s regional development officer for Scottish Orienteering, Mike Rodgers, joined me in explaining just what the championships will mean to Moray in terms of the boost in visitor numbers.
“It is not just about the numbers visiting but the exposure the championships will bring – there will be live television coverage of the event going out to millions of people around the world, showcasing all that is great about Moray and the Highlands.”
Also presenting was the recently formed Laich Coast Tourism Group, an initiative set up by community councils and associations along the Moray coast that allows the communities themselves to help boost visitor numbers.
Opening the event was Councillor John Cowe, chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership. He said: “We have a unique area in Scotland – we have one of the finest coastlines in the world with miles of golden sands and spectacular cliff formations.
“We can surfboard on the waves of the Moray Firth and, an hour later, snowboard on the Lecht. We can fish in Scotland’s finest rivers, play golf on the finest courses or sample Scotland’s finest malt whiskies.
“Tourism is a very important part of our economy here in Moray to sustain jobs, businesses and communities. Visitor spending is in the region of £95million – it is growing, but we want to double that by 2025.”