N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins March 2003

March News Index Caithness.org News Index

February News Index

Front Page Archives

Karen Hanna From Park Hotel, Thurso Heads For The Rockies 24 March 03
12 Highland Tourism Operators Head For Canada

Representatives from 12 Highland-based tourism businesses departed for the Canadian Rockies at the weekend for a five-day intensive programme, where they will meet with industry peers and explore practical approaches and best practice models for delivering tourism products and services.  The trip is part of an eight-month practical-based International Learning Journey programme aimed at improving the competitiveness of both the Highlands and Islands region and its individual tourism operators.

The programme has been led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is being managed by the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development based at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Among the participants is Donald MacDonald of the Isle of Skye's Aros Visitor Centre, which attracts over 240,000 visitors a year. Commenting on the programme, he said: "This is a unique opportunity for us to develop our individual skills and as a group to work together to bring back new and exciting initiatives. The on-going discussions and programme throughout the coming months will help to stimulate new thought and increase awareness of what is possible for tourism in the Highlands of Scotland."
Victoria Russell of the Moffat Centre, who is accompanying the delegates on the trip added: "Benchmarking and best practice are now established in many industries as crucial techniques in developing real competitive advantage. The Canadian Rockies offer many lessons in tourism products and services which can assist in driving innovation in the tourism industry."

The group has been working on a series of distance learning assignments since the programme started last month. On return from Canada they will continue with these assignments before becoming ambassadors to disseminate their acquired knowledge and ideas to the wider tourism industry across the Highlands and Islands.

Audrey MacLennan, HIE's development manager with responsibility for tourism skills, said: "Tourism is a major player in the economy of the Highlands and Islands, and it is essential that operators are given the necessary support to enable them to meet the growing expectations of visitors to the area. It is also important that the experience gained by participants in the programme is shared with others in the tourism sector, to spread the benefits as widely as possible."

The Canadian Rockies, home of Canada's oldest National Park, welcomes over 4m visitors a year as a successful four-season destination.  Scotland has already taken up initiatives such as Welcome Host which was first launched here.

The Participants
Aigas Field Centre - Yvonne Brown  www.aigas.co.uk  telephone 01463-782443
Aros (Isle of Skye) Ltd - Donald MacDonald www.aros.co.uk  telephone 01478-613649
Eshcol Guest House - Neil Macarthur www.eshcol.com  telephone 01851-621357
Glenmachrie Country Guest House - Rachel Whyte www.glenmachrie.com  telephone 01496-302560
Heatherlea (Scotland) Ltd - Amanda Craik www.heatherlea.co.uk  telephone 01479-821248
Lodge at Daviot Mains - Margaret Hutcheson www.thelodgeatdaviotmains.co.uk  telephone 01463-772215
Gael Connexions - Colin Maclean www.gaelconnexions.co.uk  telephone 01855-841 219
Orasay Inn - Isobel Graham www.witb.co.uk/links/orasayinn.htm  telephone 01870-610298
Park Hotel - Karen Hanna www.parkhotelthurso.co.uk  telephone 01847-893251
Scottish Clans and Castles - Alastair Cunningham www.clansandcastles.com  telephone 01667-456942
Stag Hotel and Restaurant - Carl Sayonas  www.staghotel.com  telephone 01546-602496
Scottish Tourism Innovation Group - Laurence Young www.stforum.co.uk  telephone 07860-558005
Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, Glasgow Caledonian University
www.moffatcentre.com  telephone 07976-566315