Greetings from the Black Isle Tourism Team!
Our logo is based on the rolling hills of the Black Isle - a contrast to the jaggedness of the high mountains of NW Scotland. Influenced by the coast north of Rosemarkie:
is the logo with the strapline Savour the Unexpected.
Who are we?
Formed in Autumn 2014, the Black Isle Tourism Team (BITT) is a subgroup of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP). We aim to encourage and enable businesses, organisations and individuals around the Black Isle who have an interest in tourism to work together to improve the visitor experience and to raise the profile of the area.
What have we achieved?
So far we've joined forces to produce the area's first visitor map (now in its third edition), hosted several busy networking and information events, worked with the North Coast 500 and Visit Scotland teams to improve the profile of the Black Isle on their main visitor sites and to raise issues of interest to our members.
We have worked with Plexus Media in Cromarty to update this website as an information resource for the Black Isle. We have also supported funding applications, worked with the Highland Council on the improvements at Chanonry Point, set up and maintain our Facebook pages: Discover the Black Isle and Black Isle Nature, and carried out various other practical tasks.
We have proudly developed a brand identity for the Black Isle: "Savour the Unexpected" - reflecting the desire to encourage visitors to stay longer and see what we have to offer.
In 2018/9 we built on our position to raise the profile of the Black Isle. We developed the theme of Slow Tourism based on a successful Strategy Day held with 50 participants at the Fortrose Golf Club in November 2018. The outcome was a draft plan that was circulated in March 2019 and then presented to a further meeting in the Culbokie Inn in April 2019 and feedback requested.
In Summer 2019, Jon Palmer, Chairman of BITT, wrote an article in Chatterbox on his personal view of tourism in the Black Isle. It is available to download from the foot of this page. The autumn networking meeting was held at Munro's Nursery and focussed on the concept of Black Isle trails.
The tourism plan sees a more structured relationship with the Community Councils on the Black Isle and an enlargement of the committee running the Tourism Team. Having joined the Scottish Tourism Alliance, BITT intends to benefit from its expertise.
How can you join?
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Black Isle Tourism Team you need to apply using our membership application form, which provides a choice of how to pay. Please post the form back to the BITT Treasurer/Membership Secretary. You can download the Application Form from the foot of this page.
There is also a Standing Order Form to be completed should you choose to commit for a longer period. The Standing Order Form can be downloaded from the foot of this page.
Membership costs £40 per annum and runs for a full year from your application date.
As well as the opportunity to add your voice to tourism development in the Black Isle, membership benefits include:
Black Isle Visitor Maps (a handy tear-off foolscap, full-colour item to give free to customers/guests)
Twice yearly networking opportunities
A window sticker to promote the Black Isle brand and indicate that you are a member
A £40 discount off North Coast 500 membership
How are we funded?
Our work is funded in part by our membership fees and by short term grants for specific purposes, e.g. printing the Black Isle Visitor Map and producing the feasibility study for the Discover the Black Isle initiative. Our membership budget is matched by an equivalent grant from Highland Council.
Activity is coordinated by a steering group of local member volunteers. We follow in the footsteps of Lizbeth Collie who initiated the Black Isle Tourism Team while Destination Development Officer at Black Isle Bicycles, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.
We are formally constituted as a project of the Black Isle Partnership (BIP) who aims to support and strengthen the area through social, environmental and economic activity, promoting community enterprises and companies with similar aims.
We have connections to the North Coast 500 and the Highland Council, sharing best practice for sustainable tourism growth in the Highlands and Scotland's National Tourism Strategy 2020 “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people". We are invited to attend meetings of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Highland Tourism Partnership.
Black Isle Tourism Team Committee
The Spring 2019 members of the BITT Committee are:
Jon Palmer (Chair), The Cheese House, Cromarty
Rose Grant, Chanonry Point
Keith Martin, iPAc Strategy
Julian Paren (Treasurer/Membership Secretary), Black Isle Perspectives, Munlochy
Anne Phillips, Rosemarkie Amenities Association
Becky Richmond, Black Isle Stud, Ferintosh Community Council