Seafood Capital of Scotland

 
 

About the Oban & Lorn Tourism Alliance Ltd

Background:

Oban and Lorn Tourism Association, (OLTA) was formed as a pressure group in the early 90s as a direct result of the loss of Oban, Mull and District Tourist Board. Initially, self financed by membership subscription, the Association set out ‘to put Oban Back on the Map’. OLTA worked with West Highland and Islands Tourist Board until a further change to the Scottish Tourist Boards led to the creation of 14 new areas. In 1996, OLTA gained funding from the new Area Tourist Board - Argyll, the Isles, Stirling, Loch Lomond and Trossachs - and became the Area’s first local marketing group. Membership became automatic for any member of VisitScotland and included over 450 businesses.

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VisitScotland continued to undergo changes and since the abolition of Area Tourist Board membership, OLTA is now back as a ‘stand alone’ venture with members subscriptions, web advertising and sponsorship providing funding for a variety of marketing initiatives. In 2012 the Association joined forces with other local marketing groups to form Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative. This umbrella Destination Organisation allows OLTA to benefit from bulk purchase discounts on print and distribution and gives OLTA access to wide range of promotional events (such as EXPO) which would be beyond our budget operating alone. OLTA's website is linked to  Explore Argyll - which is a region wide website for the Argyll and Islands area.

In 2015, the Association became a cooperative company limited by guarantee. The company - Oban & Lorn Tourism Alliance Ltd - is owned and run by its membership and its central aim remains to promote Oban and Lorn as a visitor destination. 

OLTA Achievements:

  • One of the first tourism marketing groups to utilise the world wide web with www.oban.org.uk launched in January 1996.
  • Production and distribution of over a million dedicated leaflets promoting Oban and Lorn and now part of an area wide suite leaflets - again with a dedicated leaflet for Oban and Lorn and a print run of over a million.
  • Production of a comprehensive guide book for the area (with a budget of £20k), supported by the local council, area tourist board and advertising.
  • Newspaper competitions with leading regional papers, advertorials and feature articles supporting both the new website and guidebook.
  • Sponsored map for visitors - this is now managed by BID4OBAN
  • We were one of the first marketing groups to incorporate a webcam, quickly becoming one of the top 50 in the world and top 5 in the UK. For the last several years we have featured two webcams on the site and they remain amongst our most popular pages.
  • TV ad & marketing campaigns for Oban and Lorn. Our initial campaign back in the 90s cost £45k and included 85,000 inserts in The Herald and 20 poster ads on Glasgow underground stations to support the TV advertising. The TV ad also featured on the website. Since then we have advertised regularly on TV and our most recent TV ad is featured on our home page.
  • Experiential marketing - we took Oban and Lorn to a major Glasgow shopping mall.
  • Radio advertising - campaigns on Clyde FM and other central belt stations.
  • Outdoor advertising in the central belt of Scotland with branded taxis, bus sides and station platform posters.

Recent Marketing Milestones:

  • Oban Goes MobileResponsive: The website was completely redesigned to be 'mobile responsive' in 2014. Additional search features and advertising opportunities were added and new pages and branding introduced. The website is redesigned and updated every few years!

  • Outdoor Advertising: OLTA is a regular user of outdoor advertising with key poster sites throughout Glasgow and Edinburgh and in 2014 we introduced the use of motorway sites. In 2017 we used digital boards for the first time, and in 2018 we've gone super large with 48 sheet billboards.

  • Branded Cabs: We have branded cabs operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres and occasionally collaborate with key partners from AITC or our local Business Development Company. We've also used bus side advertising in the past and branded ads on vehicles that travel between Oban and the central belt of Scotland.

  • Posters: We've featured in the gondolas at the Nevis Range, FortWilliam and on the back of every loo door at the Green Welly stop at Tyndrum. Our posters pop up in all sorts of locations.

  • TV Advertising: OLTA's latest TV ad ran on the new STV Glasgow channel (Sky 117). The ad can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel.

  • Instagram: #ig_Oban is our new instagram account. Feel free to tag your photos of Oban and we may feature them on the home page of our website.

  • Social Media: OLTA has a popular Twitter account @obantweet and Facebook page facebook.com/obantourism with many thousands of followers - join us and keep Oban trending!

  • Oban Morsels - 3 short videos focusing on seafood and shellfish, meat and game, whisky and chocolate and one 4 minute fully narrated video on Food and Drink in Oban and Lorn feature on our website, they also ran as cinema adverts.

  • Oban Blog - we have our own blogger and feature OLTA members, local events and guest blogs on our website.

  • Inverawe on pack promotion - a first for OLTA - an 8 page peel and reveal label on packs of smoked salmon with a 4 day accommodation prize courtesy of OLTA members - Loch Melfort Hotel and the Ranald Oban with runner up prizes of smoked salmon provided by Inverawe Smoke House. This competition attracted over 600 entries in 2015.

  • Scottish Field - editorial each month and reader competitions

  • Online Promotion - a mix of bought space and self generated coverage on all social media channels.

  • Radio Advertising - 2018 sees a collaboration with Radio Clyde to promote Oban Live.