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Businesses in Thurso urged to work together to help develop tourism

By SPP Reporter

BUSINESSES must work together to help develop tourism in Thurso.

That was the key message from a meeting attended by more than 30 people representing various aspects of the industry, including accommodation, tours, transport and town centre shops.

They met on Friday to discuss the Destination Thurso project which is being run by Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT).

Last year, it conducted a community consultation which found development of tourism in the town was a priority need.

The trust has since secured funding from Highland Leader and the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund to run its Destination Thurso project which employs a tourism development officer to oversee a project that will create a website, associated social media, workshops and a tourism development plan.

Helen Allan, vice-chairperson of the trust, said: “We had a strong variety of different tourism businesses and organisations attending the meeting.

“I think sometimes it might be thought that tourism is only reliant on accommodation providers but that isn’t strictly true – visitors come into contact with a wide variety of services when coming to our town, from taxi drivers to town centre shops. We all have a role to play in promoting Thurso to a visitor, right down to the community who may be approached on the street by a visitor looking for directions.”

Fiona Carlisle, of Messy Nessy Play Centre, said: “It was brilliant to see so many local businesses coming together and being positive while looking at different ways to support and engage with each other regarding tourism.”

A Tourism Working Group for Thurso has been formed to look at various issues, while workshops are to be run to help local people provide tourist information to visitors.

Trust project officer Joan Lawrie said: “The workshops will be open to businesses for their staff and the wider public should they have an interest.

“Work is ongoing on the Destination Thurso website which is due to launch prior to the start of the summer season at the end of April.”

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