24 November 2004


Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a new initiative from Visit Scotland, which will make additional funds available to tourism businesses across Scotland annually. The Visit Scotland Challenge Fund is designed to help the promotion of tourism.

Mr Stevenson said of the scheme:

“Tourism already contributes well over £4 billion per annum to the Scottish Economy. It is also an important part of the North-east economy. Tourist enterprises have been hit hard over the past few years due to foot and mouth and this summer’s poor weather.

"It is crucial therefore that Visit Scotland, Scotland’s main tourist promotion body, makes further resources available to those involved in tourist industries.

"I understand from Visit Scotland that groups of businesses will be encouraged to work together to access the fund to generate all year round tourism. The Fund will provide an excellent incentive for businesses to work together on a specific promotion.

"Grants of £2,500 to £50,000 will be available for proposals from groups of businesses. They will also benefit from building on Visit Scotland’s marketing activity.

“There will be an application round in February and June and funds can be used for marketing activities such as direct mail, exhibitions, online communications or market research.

“Those looking to apply should contact their local tourism office in the first instance to discuss their project. These local offices can also assist with helping to develop the project and offer advice on completing the application form.

“I would encourage people to apply and I hope that this will go some way to assisting tourist-related businesses in my constituency.”

Stewart Stevenson
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