A community-based organisation has announced the launch of its Visit Mearns brochure to further boost the area’s profile.
Our Mearns Tourism Association (OMTA) folders are available free to businesses providing holiday accommodation in the area and contain information about what there is to see, do and enjoy on a visit.
Since 2015, £209,000 of Aberdeenshire Council Regeneration Funding along the coastal stretch has breathed new life into the villages of Inverbervie, Gourdon, Johnshaven, Benholm and St Cyrus, transforming harbours into picturesque visitor attractions.
The initiative has been driven by communities and volunteer groups, and the work is continuing with the focus on the paths network, the development of green and open spaces, and the celebration of local heritage.
OMTA says this is key to its ethos in its community-based approach and making a positive impact on economic, social and environmental development in the area.
The organisation has been awarded a small grant from Scotmid Community Fund to cover the printing costs of the first 100 brochure folders.
OMTA chairperson Jacky Niven explained: “The Mearns’ tourism offer is distinctive and diverse, with a wide range of experiences on offer including walking, horse-riding, fishing, boating, art exhibitions, music festivals, harbour festivals, literary festivals, edible trails, conservation activities and heritage events.
“It’s great to have a lot of them packaged up and available for visitors in the area.
“We know the visitor experience is becoming more digital but we are still asked for something you can pick up, feel and read.”
The group has a number of initiatives in the pipeline for 2020, including its Ambassador Programme.
Emma Miller, who is OMTA’s director and ambassador co-ordinator, said: “We hope to have 12 volunteer ambassadors across the Mearns who will ensure we are in touch with what is going on in the area.
“We are marketing the Mearns as an important place to visit for North-east culture, heritage, and arts, and the ambassador offers a personal touch, connecting visitors to locals with specialised area knowledge.
“These ambassadors will very likely bring a wealth of ideas and innovations which will enhance and compliment the work OMTA is undertaking.”