Tourism businesses in Moray are being asked for their views on upcoming proposals which could shape the industry’s future.
Organisations throughout the region have been invited to air their thoughts on Moray Speyside Tourism’s (MST) BID initiative which aims to promote the area to visitors from across the world.
Currently, MST is charged with creating a sustainable and secure environment for tourism, but their funding runs out at the end of the year.
The group launched its TBID campaign in May and has been working ever since on getting businesses on board with the new funding model.
Under the scheme, local tourism-related organisations would pay a yearly levy based on the rateable value of their business premises.
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Members would then have the power to determine how the money should be spent and the direction of focus to put Moray on the world destination map – with no need to rely on public funding.
In preparation for their proposals to be written up and finalised, MST has invited interested tourism businesses to have their say on what the main priorities should be for the plan which will be put to a vote in the autumn.
Operations manager of MST, Laurie Piper, hopes that these 13 events across the region will help them form a fully-fledged plan and also appease anybody who has concerns about the TBID.
He said: “The intention is to introduce our current thinking and find out from them what our business plan should include.
“We need to showcase the importance of a destination marketing organisation to Moray and want the TBID to work, be affordable, accountable and continue to deliver record-breaking visitor numbers year-on-year.
“These events will allow the businesses who are pro, against or have no opinion to come and talk to us and tell us their reasons and we can listen and engage with them.”
A draft document needs to be submitted in September before potentially being endorsed by Moray Council in October and Mr Piper has described the next few months as “critical” for MST.
He said: “We have worked for almost six years delivering consistently higher tourism numbers, supporting the local businesses and offering better service and experience.
“This is now a critical couple of months for us as we need to explain why this is the best thing for the region.”
The first event will take place at the Eight Acres Hotel in Elgin on Monday, July 15 at 2pm before visiting most towns and villages in Moray.
Further details are available at www.morayspeysidetbid.com/engagement.