On 14th February, 2011, the Ayrshire Economic Partnership (AEP) made a commitment to work together to strengthen and develop the tourism sector in Ayrshire & Arran by supporting business growth, creating jobs and improving our communities.
The Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Strategy 2012-17 is the first tangible step in fulfilling that commitment – a strategy that has been developed and shaped through extensive engagement from all stakeholders, through a wide ranging consultation exercise during 2011.
Tourism is very important to the economy of Ayrshire and Arran, generating £348 million of revenue per year, from some 3.5 million visitors. This directly supports almost 9,000 jobs.
The region has tremendous assets and strengths that offer the visitor a range of great experiences, spanning rural, coastal, historic and built environments; world class golf, sailing, culture and heritage; high quality food, drink and hospitality; beautiful islands, marine and countryside.
We know that much more can be made of our assets and strengths. We are very ambitious for the sector and intend to significantly raise the performance of tourism over the next five years. We are confident the region’s inherent potential can be realised with the right strategic framework and the collective capabilities and enthusiasm of the sector as a whole.
Our vision is:
Ayrshire and Arran will be a premier destination of choice, where visitors will receive a fantastic welcome and enjoy outstanding experiences of our coastline, countryside, culture and hospitality.
Our objectives in this strategy are to:
- Increase the annual number of visitors to Ayrshire & Arran by 10% to 3.85 million.
- Increase annual spend by visitors by 20% to £418 million.
- Grow the employment supported by the tourism sector by 10% to 9,800 jobs.
- Enhance and conserve the region’s natural, heritage and cultural assets.
The strategy will be based on a clear understanding of our key target markets and visitor needs.