Spynie Castle, one of Moray’s tourist attractions
MORAY could become only the second Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) in the UK.
From today a survey is being sent to businesses across Moray connected with tourism to gauge attitudes about following a path which has been billed as a success in Inverness.
More than 800,000 visitors came to Moray last year, generating nearly £130million for the local economy. However, the current funding model for Moray Speyside Tourism is unsustainable.
Laurie Piper, the manager at Moray Speyside Tourism said: “Our annual £55,000 funding from HIE will end next year and we already know that Moray Council will not be in a financial position to continue their annual support of £15,000.
“We need a long-term funding model in place so we can get on with what we do best which is promoting our region nationally and internationally and supporting businesses.
“A Tourism Business Improvement District will provide the sustainable solution that the region needs.
“Discussions with our neighbours at Visit Inverness Loch Ness, the UK’s first TBID area, confirm that.
“If local tourism businesses support the establishment of a TBID, they would be part of the decision-making process to shape and protect the future for tourism in the area.”
A TBID is owned and controlled by its members who pay a levy.
In return local businesses get a strong say in the future strategy for the area.
A steering group has also been established to engage with local businesses about Moray becoming a TBID.
Its members include Olly Lyon from Speyside Gardens, Aberlour; Fraser Edgar from BayLake Investment; Joanna Taylor from Piping at Forres; Sarah Medcraf from Moray Chamber of Commerce; Brian Ford from Historic Environment Scotland; Linda Mellis from Spirit of Speyside; Steve Oliver from Dufftown 2000, Jennifer Robertson from Spey PR, Kevin Smith from the Craigellachie Hotel and Laurie Piper.
Anybody from the tourism sector interested in joining the steering group is encouraged to contact Moray Speyside Tourism.
Companies already part of the Elgin BID would not have to pay a second levy.