Black Isle Tourism Team

BITT July 2020 Bulletin

BITT's latest bulletin cautiously looks forward to the opening up of the Black Isle to visitors as lockdown restrictions are eased

We’re going to be seeing more people in the Black Isle over the coming weeks as the country eases out of ‘lockdown’.  This is a lifeline for those who have seen their business suffer in the last three months.  But it will also be a concern for locals who have become used to semi-isolation and feel a bit protected from the virus in our corner of the Highlands.  We can all help allay this tension through clear and consistent messaging.

The Black Isle Tourism Team (BITT) has been working directly with the Black Isle Partnership and this week will be launching a campaign based on four key statements:

  • Support local businesses
  • Respect local needs
  • Stay apart
  • Keep connected

We are doing all we can to make this information as accessible and available as possible. 

Read the full bulletin

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BITT March 2020 spring networking walk

Wednesday  25 March

Spring Networking Event - A walk around Redcastle

Killearnan Church Hall and car park,Milton Redcastle, Muir of Ord  IV6 7SQ    10.30am

We would like to invite you to take a leisurely walk.  Connect with others in the tourism sector.  Share ideas and promote your business.  Learn about the latest developments in tourism for the Black Isle.  Drink coffee and eat cake!

This event was cancelled owing to the Covid-19 situation.

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BITT January 2020 Bulletin

Happy New Year to our Friends and Members!

Following on from the success of our Autumn gathering at Munro's Nursery we look forward to lots of great teamwork across the Black Isle in 2020.

For those of you that could not attend, we enjoyed an evening of celebration and collaboration (and also great catering!). Reminding ourselves of the many varied highlights of the Black Isle and working together by region to think about how they could form part of a Black Isle Trail.

Read the full bulletin
 

BITT Autumn 2019 Bulletin

Tha latest bulletin includes

  • Advance notice of the BITT Autumn Meeting  on 12 November
  • Reporting on events and activity over the summer, including engagement with the Black Isle community councils
  • A re-statement of BITT's Mission, and a link to its draft strategy document
  • A plea for support for Fortrose Bay Campsite in their application to have their lease extended
  • Notice of a clean-up being organised by the Forestry Comission at Munlochy Clootie Well
  • Consultation by Highland Council on the possible implementation of a tourism levy

Read the full bulletin
 

BITT Summer 2019 Bulletin

The summer bulletin is packed with useful information, and features

  • A request for feedback on the Draft Tourism Strategy published earlier this year
  • Information and feedback form for consultation on proposals for a holiday park development on the site of the former Black Isle Wildlife Park 
  • News that the Cromarty Community Development Trust (CCDT) has secured £300,000 from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund for a motorhome site and slipway improvements at Nigg and Cromarty
  • Information about the summer Dolphin shuttle bus to Chanonry point
  • Information and advice to tourism businesses about promoting the Black Isle on the web.

Read the full Bulletin
 

BITT  'Slow Tourism' video

Created by TBI Director and BITT Steering Group member Julian Paren, this is a sequence of themed and captioned images (mostly Julian's photographs) illustrating the wide range of both active and more relaxed tourism opportunities available on the Black Isle, complete with appropriate music.

View the video


BITT January 2019 Bulletin

Welcome to the first BITT bulletin of 2019,

The steering group met last week to continue working on the outcomes from our workshop in November and we are aiming for mid-March as a realistic timeframe to bring out a (draft) strategy for further consultation. We also hope to hold another gathering before Easter.

We will be in touch over the coming months with new ways to take out or renew memberships following a few administrative changes our side, as detailed in the last update. 

In the meantime, there are a few hot topics and deadlines coming up that we feel are important to bring to your attention if you haven’t already been made aware through other channels:

Read the full Bulletin, which includes links to a Scottish Government consultation document on the issues surrounding the possible introduction of a Tourist Tax (consultation closes Friday 25 January), and to a Press and Journal article discussing the problem of overcrowding at tourist 'hot spots' and the growing interest in the concept of 'slow adventure' tourism - as already being promoted by BITT.

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Who are we?      2018 update

Formed in Autumn 2014, the Black Isle Tourism Team (BITT) is a subgroup of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP). We aim to encourage and enable businesses, organisations and individuals around the Black Isle who have an interest in tourism to work together to improve the visitor experience and to raise the profile of the area. 

What have we achieved?
So far we've joined forces to produce the area's first visitor map, hosted several busy networking and information events, worked with the North Coast 500 and Visit Scotland teams to improve the profile of the Black Isle on their main visitor sites and to raise issues of interest to our members. 

We have worked with Plexus Media in Cromarty to update this site as an information resource for the Black Isle: www.black-isle.info. We have also supported funding applications, worked with the Highland Council on the improvements at Chanonry Point, researched and set up new Facebook pages: Discover the Black Isle and Black Isle Nature, and carried out various other practical tasks.

We have proudly developed a brand identity for the Black Isle: "savour the unexpected" - reflecting the desire to encourage visitors to stay longer and see what we have to offer.

What next?
In 2018 we intend to build on the work we have done and the tools we now have to help raise the profile of the Black Isle. We will continue to listen to our member priorities and take these forward, most recently from the Autumn Networking event. We have another networking event planned for March.

How can you join?
If you are interested in becoming a member or you simply want to find out more, send the team an email at tourism@black-isle.info 

Membership costs £40 per annum.  As well as the opportunity to add your voice to tourism development in the Black Isle, membership benefits include:

  • Member updates
  • Black Isle Maps (a handy tear-off foolscap, full-colour item to give free to customers/guests)
  • A window sticker to promote the Black Isle brand and indicate that you are a member
  • A £40 discount off North Coast 500 membership
  • Twice yearly networking opportunities

How are we funded?
Our work is funded in part by our membership fees and by short term grants for specific purposes, e.g. printing the Black Isle Visitor Map and producing the feasibility study for the Discover the Black Isle initiative. Our membership budget is matched by an equivalent grant from Highland Council.

Activity is coordinated by a steering group of local member volunteers. We follow in the footsteps of Lizbeth Collie who was instrumental in her original post as Destination Development Officer at Black Isle Bicycles, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.

We are formally constituted as a project of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP) who aims to support and strengthen the area through social, environmental and economic activity, promoting community enterprises and companies with similar aims. For more information about BIP, contact Roy Sinclair, Company Secretary by email at roy.sinclair8@btinternet.com

We also enjoy a close working relationship with the North Coast 500 and the Highland Council, sharing best practice for sustainable tourism growth in the Highlands and Scotland's National Tourism Strategy 2020 “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people".

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