Over the past few months it was becoming increasingly clear that there was a need to take stock within the organisation. This was a requirement if the ATC was to continue the good work it was doing to bring tourism businesses and community together for the mutual benefit of both. We had to make sure we could align our work with the newly formed Angus Tourism Strategy, continue to deliver the Leader project, support initiatives such as Dog friendly Angus and Dundee and look at ways to increase membership and improve communications both with our members and the wider business community.
By the end of May the resources available to the Board to achieve this, both financially and physically were being stretched and after discussion with Angus Council, they generously agreed to fund a specialist to help us prioritise what we needed to focus on going forward.
Thomas McGonnigle, of Dal Riata, was employed to facilitate the work and in the first of two workshops, held in June and July, the Board of the ATC were asked to articulate their comments and inputs across the three following headings.
- Good Practice – what we are doing well
- – Current Frustrations – what we are not doing quite so well
- – Development Opportunities – where we can improve
The second workshop drew from those comments and set about reviewing our vision, purpose, plans and resources. From this spawned the new ATC strategy that highlighted 5 key themes that we would always try to pursue in our endeavours. as long as the work we do as a Cooperative follows these are actions will never take us far from the original objective of the ATC – to support and grow tourism in Angus.
- Industry Leadership – Providing an informed and influential voice for Angus tourism at a regional and national level. Encouraging and supporting individuals to undertake leadership roles ensuring continued growth and increased capabilities of the members to support tourism
- Enabling networking and peer support – Creating and facilitating regular events and other opportunities for members to connect and engage in business support.
- Collaboration and engagement – Foster and nurture opportunities for members to work together on activities that enhance our members products and services.
- Contribute to and support the delivery of the Angus Tourism Strategy – Members work in partnership with stakeholders to develop and lead on the contribution to working groups in the delivery of the strategy and plan
- Inspiring innovation and business growth – Sharing and showcasing examples and stories of success to develop Angus tourism
One important ask we gave ourselves was to look at a solution for improving connectivity and communications. The answer would always come back to a paid position that would employ someone to do this and drive membership. The easiest way to raise funds for this would be to increase the membership fees, but the board took the decision to look at other ways to achieve the funds needed.