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BUSINESS INSIGHT: Our individual and collective efforts can help Inverness build on success

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By Colin Craig

Coaches carrying tourists arrive in Ardross Street.
Coaches carrying tourists arrive in Ardross Street.

As the new tourist season commences it is worth reflecting that in 2023, around 3800 coaches (approximately 800 more than 2022) utilised the dedicated drop-off and collection zone at Ardross Street.

The award-winning facility which provides dedicated BID coach and visitor ambassadors to meet and greet and co-ordinate activity is funded via a successful co-investment from the Inverness Common Good Fund and BID.

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The service, which also provides a visitors guide and an information point (as well as not too infrequently direct assistance to any passengers who may have missed their coach!) is a hub of positive activity and overwhelmingly the feedback from our guests is that Inverness is such a ‘friendly’ city.

Another comment repeated often is how ‘clean’ our area is for which credit must be given to the outstanding city centre street cleaning team who are so dedicated and always go the extra mile.

Our visitors often see our city with new eyes and for this reason in 2024 we hope to share more of their interesting stories and to let you hear from some of our visitors themselves as the season progresses so although we expect both coach and passenger numbers to grow even further (including via the 120 cruise liners also scheduled to visit) it is important to remember that it is people and not numbers and via our individual and collective efforts that we can continue to build on our success as a destination.

With the opening of the incredible Inverness Castle Experience next summer by High Life Highland, the quality of our offer will be markedly enhanced and we are pleased to be working with our partners at Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) to explore and optimise additional ways that we can encourage longer stays, repeat visits as well as off-season breaks to further benefit our local economy meaning that there is much to look forward to.

In closing, warmest congratulations are extended to Tony Story and Victoria Erasmus on their recent appointment as the new co-chairs of Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN).

Colin Craig, is BID co-chairman

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