Discover Islay - A new marketing initiative wins tourism funding

The Isle of Islay is set for a major new step in its growth as a tourism destination, as an ambitious marketing project undertaken by a group of local businesses has attracted a funding boost from the national tourism agency VisitScotland. Under the name ‘Discover Islay’, the group of diverse tourism businesses aims to increase Islay’s international reputation as a quality Scottish holiday destination, with particular emphasis on developing the winter season, when there is greater capacity in the island’s accommodation.

VisitScotland’s funding award will contribute 40 per cent of the project’s total £17,000 budget for its first year, which will support the development of a high-quality Discover Islay brand logo, a new web site, promotional print and a programme of press trips and media activity.

Discover Islay has plans to bolster the campaign still further by seeking additional support and forming strategic partnerships among a wide range of local and mainland enterprises. The campaign will focus on Islay’s credentials as a unique, high-quality destination for walking, cycling, bird-watching, wildlife watching and fishing, as well as capitalising on the island’s outstanding whisky distilleries and hidden gems such as the Machrie championship links golf course.

Professor Derek Reid, chairman of Discover Islay’s Executive Board and a former chief executive of the Scottish Tourist Board, said: 'I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for Islay and its tourism-related businesses to work closely together to develop the enormous potential of a very special and unique part of Scotland.'

VisitScotland area director for Argyll, Iain Close, said: 'Each of the member businesses in Discover Islay understands that the island offers an exceptional tourism experience and that there is huge potential for growth. They also understand the importance of partnership working in achieving that growth. 'Our Challenge Fund was designed to encourage partnership working within the tourism industry, and so contribute to our shared ambition for a 50 per cent growth in tourism revenues by 2015. Discover Islay is a great example that the principle works,' he said.

The Boardmembers of Discover Islay are:
Neil Scott, The Harbour Inn & Restaurant, Prof. Derek Reid, Kinclaven Perthshire, Margaret Rozga, Kilmeny Country Guest House, Mark Unsworth, Islay Studios.

Comments are closed

Bruce

Wednesday, 12 September 2007
I hope that pathetic looking "Nothing Virtual Just Reality" logo isn't the final version! Maybe you should email them your avatar Ron and show them what a decent Islay shaped logo could look like!

tglover

Thursday, 13 September 2007

I'm surprised you don't like the new logo Bruce, I had a completely different first impression and think the logo is modern, well designed, recognisable and uses the right colours. It's all a matter of taste of course, I just hope it helps them to achieve their goals :-)

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www.islayinfo.com

Bruce

Thursday, 13 September 2007
The logo, as in the bit inside and including the blue box, is great... I have no problem with that! As you say Ron, its modern, the colours are right, its not flashy and it gets the message across. However, the words below totally ruin it. What message are they trying to convey with "Nothing Virtual Just Reality"? Couldn't they have chosen something that actually described the island itself? Something that people could say "yea, that's Islay" when they read it! Instead they come up with "listen folks, this might be a web site, but its about a real place, ok?"

Am I being too picky? Perhaps, but to me a logo is the brand... when you see the Ferrari logo you know immediately what its for without any words needed... it says Ferrari even if the word doesn't appear on the logo (tho sometimes it does). So have the image, its clear, concise, says Islay like few other images could (our avatars being among the few of course) and have the words Discover Islay... but do away with those four pointless, meaningless, superfluous words along the bottom until someone comes up with a better punchline!

jeanmarcd

Saturday, 15 September 2007
I took me quite a while to find what is wrong with this logo : Islay is shown as an empty flat desert.



tglover

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Jean-Marc, what would you change if you had to (re)design the logo? Bruce wasn't too positive as well about it. I don't know if someone from the Discover Islay group is reading this but it would be interesting to see their response to these comments. On the other hand I can also imagine that they are not waiting to start a discussion here, so many people so many thoughts...

I'm convinced it took them a lot of time to get to this result and they probably have good reasons for making it the way it is right now. I'm personally more positive minded about the new logo, see my post above. It's not really clear to me where they are planning to use the logo. On their new website, promotion campaigns, letters etc...

I will try and ask the designer to give his views and post them here..

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jeanmarcd

Saturday, 15 September 2007
Hi Ron,

I think this logo can be used as it is, but much smaller, as a "labelling" for members of the association, not bigger than twice the size of an icon.

As it is on the site, the island is too empty...

Why not variations with a patchwork of pictures of Islay according to themas, seasons...Just a mix of plenty of pictures of Islay people and places ?

I guess that Islay has the problem of too many people coming in the same time, and very few people in winter ??

tglover

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Hi Jean-Marc, I don't know if Islay gets too many visitors in the summertime but they don't get enough visitors in the wintertime and that will be one of the aspects the new group will be working on. I don't think Islay will need a lot of promotion to attract visitors in the summertime. Shows like BBC Springwatch have already increased the visitor numbers and I personally think that visitors will also start visiting the island in the wintertime when the Discover Islay group comes up with some good promotion. A few festivals between October and March might probably help a lot in that respect. So far I've been to Islay only in spring/early summer and this year we will visit the island in October. I would love to visit the island later in the year as well. I heard from some people on and off the island that Islay can be great in November as well with all the lovely colours and crisp clear skies. Time for a six journey ticket I suppose ;-)

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www.islayinfo.com

jeanmarcd

Saturday, 15 September 2007
hi Ron,

I visited Islay in March and June, we had fine weather both times. Novembre can be nice, but you have to forecast some extra time for plane cancelling because of fog and boats delayed or cancelled. I made the trip to Orkney with a group of friends in november 1998 and we had "the dubious honor of travelling on the only boat sailing that day", sea crossing between mainland and Orkney was awfull (10-12 Beaufort, waves between 7 and 8 metres). Now we laugh about it..

Anonymous

Saturday, 15 September 2007
Why don't you just wait to see what they're planning to do with this? So far this is pretty much speculation, as you've only seen the logo, not much else.

I think I'd have to agree with Ron, the basics look promising. It's simple and quite recognisable, should scale well and can be printed on a variety of things. It's not shortbread tartan kilt tin design either, of which I think there is far too much out there anyway.

While I don't "get" the slogan yet this could turn out quite interesting and potentially attract some new visitors depending on what kind of campaign they put behind it.

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Gruss,
Armin
www.islayblog.com
www.armin-grewe.com/islay/