Businesses and organisations in the National Park have taken great strides in adapting and innovating to better provide for the dynamic and ever changing tourism demand in recent years.
Adapting to Expectations
The accommodation offering has seen many positive investments and there has been a rise in visitors using self-catering accommodation, managed campsites and hotels from 2011 to 2015.
The National Park’s reputation as a top-quality food destination has seen a strong increase in the number of people coming to the area for its food and drink. The growing number of annual festivals and events showcasing local food and drink producers are also attracting thousands of people to the area.
A calendar of high quality events is attracting more visitors to the National Park including the increase in outdoor sporting events like the Great Scottish Swim. The success of this event helped attract the 2018 European Championships Open Water Swimming competition to Balloch.
Enjoying the landscape
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.
However, significant opportunity remains to make more of the Park’s rich wildlife, landscapes and the wide range of recreation activities 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 significant existing boat use. Creative use of publicly owned and managed sites can help provide more visitor services and activities.
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.
Visitor feedback also 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, particularly, working out the best way to visit and link together 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 offering, there is a need for more camping, bunkhouse and overnight motorhome stops on popular routes to meet visitor expectations of a full range of accommodation options to choose from.
The priorities for Outcome 7 are outlined below:
Priority 7.1 - Growing Tourism Markets
Encouraging new and established tourism businesses to innovate and collaborate by capitalising on growing markets linked to: