A Visit Scotland press release states:
The Minister will meet people involved in key attractions in the coastal town on Wednesday 15 April, including Nairn Harbour/Marina, Nairn Museum, Inveran Lodge Guest House, Nairn Golf Club and Connage Highland Dairy.
The historic fishing port of Nairn dates back to the fourth century but didn’t become a popular holiday destination until the 1800s with ths arrival of the railway attracting visitors such as Charlie Chaplin to its wonderful beaches and gold courses.
Home to one of the only two colonies of dolphins in the UK, the town is often filled with marine enthusiasts and yachtsmen keen to glimpse them. The old fishing harbour has received a new lease of life as a berthing site for pleasure craft, many of which participate in racing events organised by the local sailing club.
Situated in Georgian Viewfield House, Nairn Museum offers visitors and locals alike a fascinating insight into the life and times of the town and surrounding area over the centuries. The wide range of permanent displays feature various aspects of Nairn's history and a huge collection of archive material is available for study. Nairn’s impressive fossil collection features as a current exhibition.
Mr Ewing will take lunch at Inveran Lodge Guest House, a 4* Gold VisitScotland Quality Assurance awardee, and has also attained a Taste Our Best award. Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government. Launched in 2013, the scheme is designed to recognise businesses that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, to give consumers choice. He will also be meeting with Visit Nairn, the local marketing association, to hear about their work and plans for the future.
The Minister will meet staff at Nairn Golf Club, a traditional Scottish golf links course which nestles on the shores of the Moray Firth. Founded in 1887, it has hosted a large number of important championships.
He will also visit Connage Highland Dairy, a traditional, family-owned, fully organic business, complete with shoop and café, situated on a family farm at Ardersier. It is owned by brothers Callum and Cameron and their wives Jill and Eileen. Callum and Jill manage the cheese side of the business using their years of experience and producing a fully traceable quality end product – multi award winning cheese. The organic dairy herd of 150 cows, mostly Holstein Friesian with Jersey crosses and Norwegian Reds, graze the luscious clover pastures around the dairy and along the shores of the Moray Firth.
Scottish Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“Our tourism industry is vital to the Scottish economy and one of our biggest employers especially in rural areas. Nairn is known as a tourist destination for many reasons including its award winning beaches and beautiful golf courses. I welcome this opportunity to discuss how we work together to grow the tourism sector, particularly during the quieter seasons.
“Tourism plays a vital role in promoting the Scottish brand and it is important that we continue to build on our success in this area. The Year of Homecoming in 2014 has taken Scotland’s profile to great heights and with 2015 being the Year of Food and Drink, we are determined to build on this success for the future. There is the opportunity for Nairn to play a key role in this with its fine range of local food and distilleries nearby.”
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:
“Nairn is often used as a great base for exploring the Highlands and has a wonderful tourism offering, including an award-winning sandy beach and promenade, championship golf courses, popular restaurants and shops.
“During the summer months, Nairn hosts an extensive programme of family entertainment and major events, including the Nairn Agricultural Show and the Nairn Highland Games, both of which are a real draw for visitors.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity. Without tourism, many remote communities would not be sustainable and business sectors like drinks, retail or construction would be severely impacted.”