The Scottish Government has announced a £300k funding boost for tourism in Ayrshire, Firth of Clyde and Clyde Islands, as part of its commitment to promoting the area as a visitor destination.
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Tourism made the announcement at The Waterside Hotel in West Kilbride.
Around 100 local businesses and other stakeholders gathered at the Scottish Tourism Alliance event to hear about plans for an exciting new tourism initiative.
The project Firth of Clyde and Clyde Islands: ‘Five Routes – One Great Adventure’ aims to improve opportunities for local businesses, visitors and rural communities.
The regional tourism leadership group is made up of key tourism industry representatives from both the public and private sector and members of national tourism organisations. 
The group has now set now set out its plans which aims to improve opportunities for local businesses, visitors and rural communities.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The opening of this stunning series of five ring routes will help showcase Ayrshire’s natural beauty and enhance the region’s tourism offer.
“These routes, and the co-operative working between the industry and local authorities, will help the area develop as a destination showcasing to our visitors all that the region has to offer
“I am pleased to announce £300,000 Scottish Government funding towards this project, in line with our commitment to promote Ayrshire as a tourism destination.”
.Councillor Gallagher said: "This is fantastic news for North Ayrshire and our tourism industry. 
"The announcement from the Scottish Government comes at an exciting time for tourism in North Ayrshire and across the wider region.
"Together with our emerging Ayrshire Growth Deal proposals, it offers real opportunity to attract new visitors."
Cllr. Gallagher also highlighted the importance of supporting our existing business base, creating jobs and attracting investment.
Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), added: “Collaboration between local authorities, tourism businesses, public agencies and private enterprises will be key to growing this area into one of Scotland’s top destinations.
"North Ayrshire Council sets a great example of this with its proactive approach to innovation and connecting with the tourism industry on a local and national level. 
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “With its ancient castles, stunning coastlines, famous golf courses and links to Burns, Ayrshire has always been a popular holiday destination, this exciting funding announcement and the creation of an ambitious new initiative, Five Routes- One Great Adventure, will ensure the region can continue to grow its offering, attracting more visitors in the future."
Stakeholders are now being offered the opportunity to take a role in shaping the future of the new tourism initiative, which is expected to be launched to the public in spring 2019. 
For more information on the initiative, email