The aim involves bringing Dumfries and Galloway plus the Scottish Borders together as one region under the umbrella of South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) to breathe new life into the tourism industry during the staycation era.
Mr McAuley, 44, was installed as chief executive in April and is bristling with ideas to revamp the industry and ensure holiday makers head to attractions and festivals ensuring every pound spent in the area stays in the area.
He said "We are being funded by the South of Scotland Enterprise and also by Dumfries and Galloway Council, so we will have £2.7 million over the next five years.
"And the aim is to bring tourists to the area and make them aware of the hidden gems we have here. There are some fabulous coastlines here, wonderful scenery plus castles, other historical sites and a hospitality industry to enjoy".
"At the moment it is worth £450 million to the area and essentially we want to double that and bring jobs here. Just now there are 9,500 workers in hospitality. We are aiming to create another 6,500 by 2030".
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Source - Record