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IRA Wins European Business Game – and Trip to Croatia (26/04/06)
Four Inverness Royal Academy pupils will be winging their way to Croatia at the end of June as winners of a prestigious Highland wide business competition. Their successful entry for the European Business Game, promoted by The Highland Council, was "Fly Highland", a plan to attract wealthy tourists from all over the world to the Highlands and entertain them in a range of traditional activities such as shooting, fishing and hillwalking.
Each school's entry took the form of a carefully prepared business plan which was presented to a panel of judges who gave the verdict to the Royal Academy at the Highland final against Ullapool High School. The Inverness team, who have been working on the project since October, last year, will now compete in the European finals in Croatia from June 25-30.
Team leader Karen Harbison said: "This is a very upmarket idea to bring people with lots of money into the Highlands.They would be accommodated in the very best hotels such as Culloden House and Boath House near Nairn and would be helicoptered between the venues. They would be offered traditional local pastimes like fishing, shooting, hillwalking and of course golf where we would fly them briefly out of the area to St. Andrews. They would also get plenty of opportunities to relax, generally chill out and be very, very good to themselves."
"This plan is very much a top of the range one, and certainly doesn't come cheaply.We have a range of options on offer but typically a week of pampering yourself like this would cost around £2500."
The other team members are Sixth Year pupils Kai Henderson, Sean MacKay and Fearghas Cook. Royal Academy pupils received guidance from local entrepreneurs Freda Rapson and Barry Larsson. The pupils now hope that their plan might be converted into reality by some company keen to try out a novel idea.
Their success has also been welcomed by the school's Rector John Considine who said: "Recently we've seen a number of initiatives to attract tourists to the Highlands but this one really is excellent. The pupils have put a lot of work into their idea and have clearly made an impact on the judges. They have used a lot of different skills in developing this plan and all of us at the school wish them all the best for these European finals."