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Tourism is Moffat’s biggest employer

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By Fiona Reid
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Tourism is Moffat’s biggest employer

MORE than one in three employees in Moffat work in tourism —anew report has revealed as it aims to set up a dedicated marketing team for the town.

Thirty-six per cent of people in the town work in the tourism sector, compared to just 11 per cent of people in the region and nine per cent Scotland wide, according to the newly created Moffat and Beattock Action Plan.

And the town also boasts a high number of hotel rooms — 30 hotel rooms per 1000 people, by-passing Edinburgh with 27 rooms per 1000 in population.

The report, commissioned to produce a ten year growth and development plan for the two areas, was released this week and was filled with tourism boosting ideas for Moffat.

Creator of the plan, Nick Wright says increased marketing will be a game changer for tourist friendly Moffat and hopes the town will set up a group dedicated to marketing.

He said: “Marketing is critical for everything in this Community Action Plan: tourism, arts, culture, outdoor recreation, sports, business development, investment…if people don’t know what Moffat has to offer, however good those things are, how would they know to come?”

He added: “The town needs a professionally developed marketing strategy and ongoing delivery support. This should be developed in partnership with local businesses, community groups, the tourism sector and the public sector.

“There is already much excellent activity locally, such as the Visit Moffat website and the What’s On guide; this needs to be supported and enhanced.

“The aim should be to extend visitor stays and expand reach beyond Moffat and existing audiences.”

And keen for the town to make the most of its close motorway links, he said: “Traffic on the M74 isahuge potential resource to be tapped into; new brown signage on the motorway should be an immediate priority.”

To boost tourism, Nick has also suggested a monthly weekend-long traffic closure of the east side of the high street, making use of Moffat’s unusual double sided high street, which could host pop-up shops and outdoor cafes.

Free WiFi for the town is also a suggestion as is digital signage with a rolling What’s On guide. The full report will be available for all to see online soon.

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