Working for Business in the Outdoor Capital of the UK

A PARTNERSHIP between education institutions in Scotland and Europe is to help boost adventure tourism in five countries.

Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) yesterday announced a new trans-national partnership with higher education institutions in Estonia, Bulgaria, Ireland and Denmark, supported by funding from the European Commission.

It comes in response to the the fast-changing adventure tourism environment in Scotland and throughout Europe. From early 2018 the Adventure Tourism Innovation Partnerships (AVIP) project will develop education and training programmes to strengthen the skills base of young people and adults working in the adventure tourism sector, particularly for those economies constrained by structural weaknesses and disadvantaged by their remote locations.

UHI will be the lead partner, with Tallinn University in Estonia, Varna Chamber of Tourism in Bulgaria, Momentum in Ireland and the European E-learning Institute in Denmark also included in the group.

Dr Steve Taylor, the head of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, said: “This is a great opportunity for Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and West Highland College UHI to help bring cutting-edge training to tourism businesses in the region.

“We look forward to collaborating with our international partners, and working with businesses and tourism organisations in Lochaber and the wider Highlands region to develop meaningful and instructive training courses to this increasingly important sub-sector of the Scottish economy.”

The partners felt there was a need for skills development to support growth in the industry. Their alliance will see resources, expertise and experience pooled from across the five countries.

The AVIP project was announced just prior to Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s Lochaber Ideas Week, which will run from today until Friday. Discussions, workshops and other activities will consider ways to promote Fort William and Lochaber, the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

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