Businesses interested in making the most of cruise ships coming to port in the Cromarty Firth have been invited to a seminar next month.
The Port of Cromarty Firth will run the information session for companies in the Highlands interested in finding out how working with the cruise sector could boost their business. The day-long workshop will be held at the Centre for Health Science, Inverness, on 16 February.
The workshop, run in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and with the support of Inverness Chamber of Commerce and VisitScotland, has been designed for businesses running tourist and visitor attractions in the Highlands, including retailers, golf courses, distilleries and restaurants.
Attendees will be introduced to the ground-handling companies who represent the major cruise lines that visit the Port in Invergordon, and they will be able to take part in a question and answer session with them. They will also discover how to design excursion itineraries that are appealing to tourists and tailored to the various cruise lines.
The Port of Cromarty Firth welcomed more cruise passengers than any other Scottish port in 2016.
Bob Buskie, chief executive of the port, said: “We are excited to be able to organise this event and help support Highland businesses in this way. Each year, the cruise industry through the port in Invergordon brings about £10million to the Highland economy and we want to help local organisations take full advantage of this.”
James Gibbs, HIE’s area manager for Inner Moray Firth, said: “The cruise sector has seen growth year on year and is important to our region’s economy, bringing in visitors from all over the world, many of which come ashore to tour or shop. We are delighted to support this initiative from the Port of Cromarty Firth to host this seminar which will highlight how our local businesses can benefit as much as possible from the economic contribution, which cruise ships can bring to the local area.”
Stewart Nicol, chief executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce, said: “This cruise workshop is a great opportunity for Highland businesses to maximise commercial prospects for their business from the growing number of cruise ships visiting the Port of Cromarty Firth. The cruise ship market has become a very significant addition to the local economy with the growth in ships and visitors expected to grow significantly over the next few years.
“The Port of Cromarty Firth and HIE have combined resources to run the cruise workshop to help local businesses understand fully the ways in which they can benefit from this growing trade, and work together to ensure the port continues to be seen as a must-visit destination for these luxury liners and passengers.”
The event is being funded by the partners, with HIE providing the venue and the Port of Cromarty Firth providing logistics and facilitation for the event. The small charge for attendees, which is just £11, will pay for the catering.