Area Information

Our progress

To maintain progress around the project, Ambitious for Tourism Caithness and North Sutherland (ATCNS), we hold regular meeting with our partners and stakeholders. Our current schedule looks like this:

  • ATCNS partners meet four times per year
  • ATCNS industry forum meeting is held twice a year
  • ATCNS industry event is held once a year

Updates, meeting minutes and progress reports will be posted to this website or for further information, you can contact Rachel Skene, details on the right of this page.

Project updates

September 2012

The GSA lead Innovating Tourism Caithness and North Sutherland project is now progresssing:

We are bringing together a tourism cluster of companies/organisations with drive, curiosity and ambition.  The cluster will use the Creating Cultures of Innovation tools and processes (developed by the Centre for Design Innovation) to work up two projects – one for the cluster as a whole and one for each of the participating companies. 

We are using a set of criteria to determine the mix of companies in the cluster in order to ensure we get a good cross section of tourism businesses, and to maximise the opportunity for “rippling” the tools and processes to other people.

A holding page for the cluster has been created at where you can find two documents to download which describe the Mystery Shopper activity that was conducted over the summer, and general explanation of the project.  

June 2012

HIE is please to confirm that the next phase of development activity for the project, Ambitious for Tourism Caithness and North Sutherland, will be led by the Glasgow School of Art Centre for Design and Innovation Forres (GSA CDI).

The GSA CDI activity will focus on developing a cluster of ambitious tourism sector businesses by September/October 2012.

GSA CDI can support business development through sharing expertise from professionals across Scotland, the UK and internationally who have experience of service and product design. By working with GSA CDI, businesses have the opportunity to work in a stimulating environment that will support the development of innovative business models and strategic planning that can turn ambitions into reality.

GSA CDI professionals will be making visits to the Caithness and North Sutherland area over the summer 2012. Most will be doing so as part of a 'mystery shopper' type experience gathering insights on the destination before, during and after visits. The findings of each visit will help identify opportunities for development and new ways of working.

Joe Lockwood, Programme Director, will also be visiting the Caithness and North Sutherland area as part of a planned tour on 18 and 19 July 2012. Businesses and tourist attractions will have the opportunity to meet with Joe and share their views on the tourism sector during the summer season.

Further communications from GSA CDI about the opportunity to be part of the tourism sector cluster will be made in September 2012.


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