Industry leaders from across Ayrshire have come together to form a new Destination Management and Marketing Organisation for the region – Ayrshire & Arran Destination Alliance (AADA) – to drive a collective way forward for the tourism industry following the pandemic.
Over the past year, industry leaders have stepped up to try and drive forward recovery, working collaboratively with Local and National Government to focus on the challenges faced by one of Ayrshire’s key sectors.
Earlier this year, industry leaders appointed international destination experts, in2destination, to conduct research on behalf of the region to shape thinking around the development of sustainable visitor management across Ayrshire. With input from North, South and East Ayrshire Councils, along with businesses and residents, the research highlighted that tourism is overwhelmingly a “force for good” contributing over £600 million of visitor spend and supporting over 13,000 jobs regionally – but there was a need for more cohesion and joint working across the whole region.
Building on this research, AADA worked collaboratively with VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Local Authorities to successfully deliver a series of industry events throughout May and June attracting almost 200 industry representatives to look at areas of best practice from across the UK.
Through this work, AADA was developed and has launched as an industry-led Destination Management and Marketing Organisation for the region. The organisation will operate on a not-for-profit basis, working collaboratively to grow the visitor economy sustainably to deliver benefits for businesses and communities. As part of this move, AADA has taken on management of The Coig – a collaborative tourist route project and will continue to promote this as part of the regional offer.