news

Abstracts Invited for the 2018 International Adventure Conference

As one of the founder members of the Adventure Tourism Research Association, CRTR is pleased to announce a ‘call for abstracts’ for its sixth International Adventure Conference.  This will be held in Segovia, Spain on January 30 – February 2, 2018, and promises to be a great event in an inspiring setting.  For details please visit www.atra.global

Research Centre wins funding to help boost marine tourism

West Highland College UHI’s Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research will start to explore ways of encouraging business development in the Highlands’ marine tourism sector, after a project application, led by the Regional Council of Brittany, was approved last week.

The initiative, part-financed by the Atlantic Area Interreg programme, will have eighteen partners in six countries stretched along the Atlantic arc, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Canary Islands.  The project will start next month and over the next three years the partners will be creating new sailing itineraries to showcase the Atlantic coast’s natural and cultural assets and exploring new media for marketing marine tourism businesses, including coastal events across the wider region.

The head of the research centre, Dr Steve Taylor, welcomed the decision: “this will be a great opportunity to build on some of the centre’s recent success in working with local businesses to develop tourism packages and itineraries, and attract new, high-spending tourists to the Highlands’ coastal fringe.”

The Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research is based at West Highland College UHI in Fort William, Scotland - one of the academic partners of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Please contact steve.taylor.whc@uhi.ac.uk for more details.

Slow Adventure Scoops Awards at VisitScotland Expo

West Highland College UHI’s Centre for Recreation and Tourism research took their ‘Slow Adventure in Northern Territories’ (SAINT) project to VisitScotland’s Expo at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow last week. Promoting new nature-based tourism experiences in Lochaber, recently developed as part of the project’s Scottish case study, they attracted considerable industry interest and walked away with a brace of awards!

The wild camp-themed stand attracted a fantastic level of interest from international tour operators, as well as from VisitScotland stand judges, resulting in two awards – “Best New Exhibitor” and “Most Effective Personnel”. The project representative, Sara Mair Bellshaw, based at the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research at West Highland College UHI in Fort William, collected the awards from VisitScotland’s chief executive, Malcolm Roughead, at the Expo dinner.

The stand introduced slow adventure to the industry as a new marketing concept for nature-based tourism, using a clustering model to bring together a range of tourism businesses to create slower-paced, more immersive consumer experiences set in the amazing land- and sea-scapes of Lochaber. These clusters are the result of months of working with local businesses to test the effectiveness of collaboration that enables these micro-businesses to diversify their existing products and combine their expertise and offerings to broaden and enhance their promotional potential. “All of these amazing experiences have been brought together in a brochure pitched at tour operators, which we hope will see them offering these experiences to their consumers”, explained the head of centre, Dr Steve Taylor.

The trans-national SAINT project is part-financed by the Northern Periphery and Arctic programme, with co-financing from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council. The lead partner is West Highland College UHI, an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Highlands. To view the current slow adventure brochure go to www.slowadventure.scot, to follow slow adventure across the seven countries involved in the project please follow @slowadventuring social media pages.

For more information about the SAINT project contact:
sara.bellshaw.whc@uhi.ac.uk | 01397 874035