The Board and management of Visit Inverness Loch Ness have expressed thanks to member businesses for their support in ensuring a continuation of the work of the Tourism BID for a further five years.  At Eden Court today the CEO of Highland Council, Donna Manson, announced that following a ballot of all 359 Tourism BID members 115 had voted in favour and 43 against. The turnout was 44.66% and the turnout by rateable value was 46.64%. Thus on all accounts the result meets the BID requirements to be successful.

Graeme Bell, Chairman of Visit Inverness Loch Ness said, “It is fantastic news that once again local businesses have supported the Tourism BID. It was the first of its kind in Scotland when established in 2014 which said a lot at the time of recognition by local tourism businesses of the need to work and contribute collaboratively for the greater good.  It says even more this time when business costs are rising, that members still recognise that a strong, financially supported destination management organisation is an important contributor to the success of tourism in the destination.

Graeme Ambrose , CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness said, “The success comes at a time when the industry both locally and nationally is facing a number of major challenges, not least those associated with  Brexit, and  to not work together would have undermined the long term sustainability of a vibrant and healthy local tourism industry. We are therefore delighted that members have once again supported Visit Inverness Loch Ness and put their trust in the organisation to deliver.

“The ballot result enables us to commence without delay important new projects, not least the development and launch of the LochNess360° trail, the support of local community events, working collaboratively with VisitScotland to maximise the potential of travel influencers and bloggers and much more. Equally to continue to grow not only our online presence and the value and importance of business tourism to the local economy but also to offer continued business development opportunities for members”

Mike Smith, Inverness City Centre BID Manager said, “We are delighted that VisitInvernessLochNess Tourism BID has been successful at its first re ballot. It achieved much for the benefit of the local tourism industry its first five year term and we are sure that it will continue to do so. The City Centre BID also look forward to working more collaboratively with the Tourism BID to ensure that collectively we can maximise the tourism potential of Inverness”

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director,  said“ I am delighted that Visit Inverness Loch Ness will carry on the excellent work it has been doing in marketing this vibrant region and strengthening the local tourism economy. We know this area is a huge draw to visitors – both domestic and international – but we cannot be complacent and it is so important that we continue to invest in marketing the area and bringing even more events, festivals, conferences, business tourism and visitors to the area, to make this a must-visit, must-return destination.

“I would like to congratulate Graeme and his team for all the work they have already done to put this region firmly on the map – particularly around the creation of the new LochNess360° Trail. I am confident they will only build on this success as they continue to promote Inverness and Loch Ness as a sustainable tourism destination.”

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