EFFORTS to promote Helensburgh to people travelling to the town from elsewhere have received a boost with the opening of Destination Helensburgh’s new visitor information centre.
The Sinclair Street centre offers a range of Visit Scotland information alongside a wide selection of maps, guidebooks, and local information, including a calendar of local events – and Helensburgh and Lomond themed souvenirs.
Their website, DestinationHelensburgh.org, is already populated with directories of local businesses and organisations, and has a growing collection of articles on things to do and see in the district.
The team are currently working on a new “Gateway to Argyll” visitor map promoting the area, with 25,000 copies to be distributed nationally. Local businesses can advertise their services and attractions on the map, and can also advertise in the visitor information centre (VIC).
Marketing professor and Helensburgh resident Michael Baker, who set up Destination Helensburgh last year with his daughters, and fellow directors, Fiona Baker and Anne Foy, said: “We are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world with so many attractions on our doorstep.
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“However, the absence of dedicated marketing of Helensburgh and Lomond in the past means the local area has not been able to capitalise on what we have to offer visitors.
“Promoting the district, increasing visitor numbers, and providing information for the visitors we already have will stimulate the economy to the benefit of all residents.”
Anne, who also works in marketing, said: “Whilst so much of destination marketing is digital, having a physical presence where visitors, and locals, can find information, and most importantly local assistance and advice, will, we hope, prove to be an asset to the district.
“So far visitors to the centre have been looking for everything from accommodation and services, getting ideas for activities and itineraries, and looking for local souvenirs, to wanting to know about local bus timetables.
“The interaction with visitors is vital to ensuring we are able to answer any questions we might be asked and helps us to develop tailored information for the district.”
Fiona, an archaeologist who is heavily involved with several community groups in the Helensburgh area, added: “This is an exciting time for Destination Helensburgh and opening the VIC and shop is a milestone after many months of research and development.
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“While we have been doing a great deal online and developing partnerships, it is great to be interacting with visitors and being able to enhance their experience in the local area by providing information and local knowledge.
“Destination Helensburgh is for all of Helensburgh and Lomond including the many community groups who contribute so much to the life and vitality of the district.
“We hope we will be able to support local organisations by keeping a central calendar of activities and events, promoting community organisations and services, and assisting partnership working.
“We hope everyone will support Destination Helensburgh as an organisation set up to benefit the district as a whole.”
To find out more information, check out destinationhelensburgh.org, follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit the VIC, in the former Helensburgh Heroes centre at 28 Sinclair Street.