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Visitor Experience Outcome VE3:

The Park’s visitor economy is thriving with more businesses working together to create a world class destination.

Why is this outcome important?

Businesses and organisations in the Park have taken great strides in adapting and innovating to better provide for the dynamic and ever changing tourism demand. The accommodation offering has seen many positive investments while the quality of food and drink has improved significantly. We have seen a strong increase in the number of people coming to the National Park for food and drink, up from 15% in 2011 to 44% in 2015. There has also been a rise in visitors using of self-catering, managed campsites and hotels from 2011 to 2015.

A calendar of high quality events is attracting more visitors to the National Park. Our reputation as a food destination along with the growing number of annual festivals and events showcasing local food and drink producers are attracting thousands of people to the area. The increase in outdoor sporting events includes The Great Scottish Swim, which has grown in popularity year-on- year. It had 3,000 participants in 2016 and the success of the Great Scottish Swim helped to attract the 2018 European Open Water Swimming Championships to Balloch.

The National Park’s road, rail and long distance path network represent some of the best scenic routes in Scotland with stunning views of the area’s lochs and mountains. The West Highland Line offers an outstanding rail experience but opportunities to come here via local stations are currently under-promoted.

The award-winning Scottish Scenic Routes Initiative has brought iconic architectural installations attracting fresh audiences to these locations by improving opportunities to stop during journeys to enjoy the landscape.


The Scenic Route Viewpoint at Loch Voil

The improvements on the A82 at Pulpit Rock and Crianlarich have seen well designed enhancements to this scenic route, while investments on the A83 at The Rest and Be Thankful have sought to ensure that landslide events do not lead to prolonged road closures.

Significant opportunity remains to make more of the Park’s rich wildlife, landscapes and the wide range of recreation experiences that attract longer staying visitors. These include cycling, high quality paddle sports, long-distance walking and open-water swimming – although this requires careful management in areas with existing boat use. Creative use of publicly owned and managed sites can help support providing more visitor services and activities.

Visitor feedback shows that it can be a challenge to get the right information to plan and enjoy a trip to Loch
Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. In particular, it’s not always easy to work out the best way to visit and link together a variety of experiences in different areas. This is compounded by the current lack of fit for purpose broadband and mobile connectivity in many parts of the Park.

Alongside an improving hotel and self-catering offerings, there is a need for more camping, bunkhouse and overnight motorhome stops on activity routes to meet visitor expectations of a full range of accommodation types to choose from.

Our priorities for action:

Visitor Experience Priority 11: Encouraging and supporting new and established tourism businesses to innovate and collaborate to capitalise on growth markets where appropriate to the Park’s natural and cultural heritage in:

  • Walking, cycling and canoeing
  • Camping and motorhomes
  • Nature based tourism
  • Marine tourism
  • Food and drink
  • Business tourism

Kayaking on Loch Lomond

Visitor Experience Priority 12: Encouraging partner and private sector investment on:

  • Recreation activity offerings
  • Identifying where publically owned land can accommodate recreation activity providers and tourism investment
  • A wider range of accommodation offerings including lower cost provision associated with recreation pursuits and overnight facilities for motorhomes
  • Attracting and growing signature events such as The Great Scottish Swim and capitalising on hosting the 2018 European Open Water Swimming Championships

Visitor Experience Priority 13: Making it easier to find out what the National Park has to offer and for businesses to grow and collaborate by:

  • Facilitating better joined-up, consistent and relevant visitor information
  • Investing in digital visitor information provision and contemporary marketing
  • Continuing efforts to secure Superfast Broadband, public Wi-Fi and mobile telephone network coverage
  • Delivering improved visitor welcomes at railway stations and stronger links to onward journeys in the Park, with priority at Balloch and Tarbet and improving visitor information at strategic transport hubs surrounding the Park

Who can help make this happen?

Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Futures Trust
Distribution Business Groups
Community Development Trusts
Community Councils
Local Authorities
Transport Scotland
Scottish Tourism Alliance


How will we measure success by 2023?

  • Increase in accommodation capacity.
  • Increase in overnight stays.
  • Increase in visitor spend.
  • Increase in camping and motorhome capacity.
  • Growth in value of the tourism economy.
  • Growth in broadband and mobile coverage.
  • Growth in participation in signature events.


  • Do you agree with the overarching Visitor Experience vision?
  • Do you agree with the 5 Visitor Experience outcomes?
  • Do you agree with the 20 Visitor Experience priorities?
  • Do you have any specific comments on the priorities or outcomes?
  • Are there areas that you think are important and that are not covered by the priorities?
  • Is your organisation willing to sign up to the delivery of the priorities and,
    if so, what/how does your organisation intend to contribute?
  • Are there other organisations that you think should be included as delivery partners?



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