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Cabinet Secretary Launches Flagship VisitScotland iCentre in Highland Capital
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop and VisitScotland Chairman Lord Thurso are joined by local piper Iain Campbell for the official opening of Inverness iCentre.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop has officially opened a new VisitScotland iCentre, which is set to inspire visitors to extend their stay in the Highlands.
The flagship facility, which has relocated to Inverness High Street, will promote the tourism offering of the city, the wider Highland region and Scotland as a whole, highlighting exciting events, hidden gems and must-see attractions.
With the success of the North Coast 500, the regions links to smash-hit Outlander and events like the Mountain Bike World Cup, the Highlands has become an increasingly popular draw for visitors.
It is hoped the new iCentre location, which is closer to transport hubs, will encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more across the Highlands and Scotland.
Recent figures show that more than 2.2 million overnight trips were made to the Highlands in 2015/2016, contributing £705m to the local economy.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
“This new iCentre in Inverness emphasises the important role that VisitScotland has in supporting the needs of visitors to the Highlands.
“The city continues to attract record numbers of visitors. Latest figures from 2016 show that the number of international visitors to Inverness has increased by over 50% since 2011 and expenditure more than doubled in the same period.
“The latest domestic figures also show a rise.
“VisitScotland has developed a new facility that meets visitors’ needs – impressive imagery of the Highlands, key information on attractions, such as Loch Ness, and attentive and helpful staff.”
The new iCentre allows visitors to access advice on things to see and do, as well as book accommodation and tickets.
Free Wi-Fi means that visitors can also view online content effectively while inside the centre.
With 142sq metres of floor space, the layout of the new centre is designed to manage the flow of people, and includes local and national wall maps to help visitors plan their journey.
Lord Thurso, VisitScotland Chairman, said:
“The creation of this VisitScotland iCentre reaffirms our commitment to providing visitors to the Highlands with access to first class information, inspiring them to stay longer, spend more and contribute to the vital visitor economy.
“Our iCentres remain at the heart of information delivery – we are focused on running the right centres in the right place, with the right look, employing the right people and delivering the right experience.
“However, the delivery of visitor information is changing and in Inverness as well as the wider Highlands region, we are working with a network of local ambassadors as part of our Visitor Information (VIP) Programme to ensure visitors can access quality information regardless of where they are. “
A number of suppliers will be selling their products within the iCentre as part of the new Shop Local retail initiative which offers the opportunity for communities, local businesses, craft makers, artists, designers and others to promote and sell their products via the VisitScotland iCenre network.
Local suppliers include Tain Pottery, Highland Crackers, Reids of Caithness, Asher’s Bakery and Hairy Coo.
The centre will also stock Isle of Skye Sea Salt and Isle of Skye Fudge.
For more information on VisitScotland’s information provision strategy, please visit www.visitscotland.org
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