Greetings from the Black Isle Tourism Team!
Who are we?
Formed in Autumn 2014, the Black Isle Tourism Team (BITT) is a subgroup of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP). We aim to encourage and enable businesses, organisations and individuals around the Black Isle who have an interest in tourism to work together to improve the visitor experience and to raise the profile of the area.
What have we achieved?
So far we've joined forces to produce the area's first visitor map (now in its third edition), hosted several busy networking and information events, worked with the North Coast 500 and Visit Scotland teams to improve the profile of the Black Isle on their main visitor sites and to raise issues of interest to our members.
We have worked with Plexus Media in Cromarty to update this website as an information resource for the Black Isle: www.black-isle.info. We have also supported funding applications, worked with the Highland Council on the improvements at Chanonry Point, set up and maintain our Facebook pages: Discover the Black Isle and Black Isle Nature, and carried out various other practical tasks.
We have proudly developed a brand identity for the Black Isle: "Savour the Unexpected" - reflecting the desire to encourage visitors to stay longer and see what we have to offer.
In 2018 we intend to build on the work we have done and the tools we now have to help raise the profile of the Black Isle. We will continue to listen to our member priorities as expressed at our Networking events and take these forward. Our next networking event is in Autumn 2018.
How can you join?
If you are interested in becoming a member or you simply want to find out more, send the team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership costs £40 per annum.
As well as the opportunity to add your voice to tourism development in the Black Isle, membership benefits include:
Black Isle Visitor Maps (a handy tear-off foolscap, full-colour item to give free to customers/guests)
A window sticker to promote the Black Isle brand and indicate that you are a member
A £40 discount off North Coast 500 membership
Twice yearly networking opportunities
How are we funded?
Our work is funded in part by our membership fees and by short term grants for specific purposes, e.g. printing the Black Isle Visitor Map and producing the feasibility study for the Discover the Black Isle initiative. Our membership budget is matched by an equivalent grant from Highland Council.
Activity is coordinated by a steering group of local member volunteers. We follow in the footsteps of Lizbeth Collie who initiated the Black Isle Tourism Team while Destination Development Officer at Black Isle Bicycles, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.
We are formally constituted as a project of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP) who aims to support and strengthen the area through social, environmental and economic activity, promoting community enterprises and companies with similar aims.
We have connections to the North Coast 500 and the Highland Council, sharing best practice for sustainable tourism growth in the Highlands and Scotland's National Tourism Strategy 2020 “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people". We are invited to attend meetings of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Highland Tourism Partnership.
The Autumn 2018 members of the BITT Committee are:
Jon Palmer (Chair), The Cheese House, Cromarty
Rose Grant, On the Point Self Catering Cottage, Chanonry Point
Antonia Maher-McCrystal, Abalone Bed and Breakfast, Culbokie
Shirey Matheson, Sydney House Bed and Breakfast, Cromarty
Julian Paren, Black Isle Perspectives, Munlochy
Anne Phillips, Rosemarkie Amenities Association