Visitor Enquiries See Big Rise At Thurso VisitScotland
11th April 2014
Relocated VisitScotland information service sees 55% increase in visitor enquiries.
A full year on from the relocation of the Thurso VisitScotland information service to Caithness Horizons has seen a 55% increase in footfall.
Since moving into Caithness Horizons at the end of March 2013, the Thurso VIC has been able to increase opening hours and change from a seasonal to all year service, making it easier for visitors to access local information when arriving in Thurso.
The numbers of visitors coming in to source local information has risen from 11,917 to 18,473 since the move, when compared to the same period in 2012/13.
Building on the established relationships with cruise liners visiting the port, VIC staff continue to visit most ships to provide those on board with information on what to see and do locally. In the past 12 months, the VIC staff have welcomed 6 cruise liners with a further 7 ships expected this summer.
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:“VisitScotland, in partnership with Caithness Horizons, is really seeing the benefits of partnership working to improve the visitor information provision in Thurso. We are thrilled to have welcomed almost 18,500 visitors to the Thurso VIC in the past 12 months, giving us the opportunity to inspire and influence them to do and see more across the region.”
Paul Cariss, Chairman of Caithness Horizons, went on to add:“We are delighted to be working in this partnership agreement with VisitScotland. Both parties are benefiting from the VisitScotland Information Centre being located at Caithness Horizons and are working together to develop and promote tourism in the far north.
“We welcome visitors through our doors from all over the world. This year they will experience a wide range of planned events and activities and we look forward to another long and busy season working together.”
Councillor Deirdre Mackay, leader of The Highland Council’s Caithness and Sutherland Area, welcomed the success of the new VIC in Thurso:“The increase in visitors clearly shows that this partnership approach is working well and is a good model the council is keen to see rolled out to other areas across the Highlands.
“Instead of the previous seasonal service for visitors, they can now benefit from a year-round service to ensure they make the most of their visit to the north whenever they choose to come. It also has given a super local attraction a real boost by encouraging more people through its doors. I’m sure the coming season will prove to be even busier.”
Talks have taken place on the possibility of reopening Thurso's Caithness Horizons which closed last week due to financial problems. The operators of the museum and art gallery said increasing running costs and reduced income had made the running of the site "unsustainable".
Uncertainty over funding from Highland council. Caithness Horizons, which tells the story of the county of Caithness from 416 million years ago to the present day, has deleted its manager post and cut its curator's hours from 40 to 20 hours a week in anticipation of funding cuts.
Week Commencing 1st January 2018. Energy & business services: 2018 promises to be another year of exciting change in the energy sector, and to highlight how things have progressed in the north the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm team have produced a short booklet outlining the significant milestones that have been achieved during 2017 - you can access the booklet at https://www.beatricewind.com/single-post/2017/12/22/lookingbackat2017 .
Thursday 10 September, 12.45 -16.30 Caithness Horizons, Thurso (Please note that lunch is not provided, however you are welcome to have lunch at The Caithness Horizons Cafe prior to the event) Running a craft practice is addictive - there is always more to try, new ideas to explore and projects to develop. Growing your business allows you to confidently pursue these exciting new opportunities to strengthen your profile, expand your range of customers and generate healthy profits.
Tuesday 11th August saw local group No Limits Caithness visit the Museum for a morning packed with Viking activities with Curator Joanne Howdle, or Thordis Eiríksdóttir as she is fondly known to local groups and schools. The group helped the Museum to hit the half million visitors mark and to celebrate they were presented with a special cake made in the Museum's cafe.
Scientists from around the world recently gathered in Thurso for an annual biological sciences meeting. The Larwood Symposium was hosted by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the North Highland College UHI on behalf of the International Bryozoology Association.
Caithness Horizons Museum in Thurso has recently been reviewed by Visit Scotland grading authority and are delighted to keep its Five Star Visitor Attraction status for a seventh year running. The news comes shortly after receiving a Certificate Of Excellence from Trip Advisor earlier in the month.
Last week saw the last of the Dounreay Materials Testing Reactor (DMTR) control room panels shipped off site and transferred to their new home in local five-star visitor attraction Caithness Horizons. The control room panels and control desk have been donated to Caithness Horizons and reconstructed at the museum to form the basis of a new permanent exhibition representing Dounreay's significant part in Scotland's industrial heritage.
On now in Caithness Horizons gallery untill 11th December: ' Paper Wrappers and Herbarium Sheets'. All inspired by Robert Dick, Baker and Botanist of Thurso 1811-1866.
A group of five staff members from Caithness Horizons have successfully completed an EDI National Award in Cultural and Heritage Venue Operations. Caithness Horizons is the only museum in the Highlands to have staff that have achieved this award.