Boosting the tourist trade will be top of the agenda for local entrepreneurs on Tuesday, February 27, at the Ayrshire and Arran Tourism Partnership's first 'Talking Tourism' conference.
Sponsored by Clydesdale Bank's Ayr Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), the event will give local businesses an insight into the Scottish tourism industry as a whole and explain how attractions are marketed both locally and nationally.
The event, which is being held in Irvine 's Gailes Hotel, will be addressed by keynote speaker Charan Gill, who used his marketing and business talents to turn the Glasgow-based Harlequin Restaurant Group into the UK 's largest Indian restaurant chain.
Other guest speakers will include Eric Gunn, head of business banking for the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland , Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland's marketing director, and Bob Leitch, chair of the Ayrshire and Arran Tourism Partnership.
Delegates at the event will also have the opportunity to question the speakers, network with each other and learn about a range of business initiatives with which they can become involved. Willie Mackie, managing partner of the Ayr FSC, says: "Ayrshire is home to a vibrant tourism industry and we are delighted to be supporting an event which will further strengthen local businesses' ability to compete in that market.
"Ayrshire and Arran are ideally placed to take advantage of both the domsetic tourist trade and to capitalise on foreign visitors, many of whom pass through Prestwick on arrival in the country."
Bob Leitch, of the Ayrshire and Arran Tourism Partnership, adds: "Tourism-related industries are a major employer in the local area and make an important contribution to our economy. The aim of this event, and indeed all our activities, is to give local companies the chance to maximise their share of the tourist trade in Scotland and stimulate growth in the local economy."