The conservation and heritage charity for the
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

News

Tourism in Meltdown

Fears of a £200m hit for tourism businesses in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

 

Tourism in meltdown as losses grow at an alarming rate

 

A prolonged lockdown caused by the corona virus pandemic could see at least £200 million wiped off the value of tourism in the National Park this year with the potential loss of at least a quarter of the tourism businesses and over 1,200 redundancies according to a former tourism chief for the area and current Chairman of a leading National Park charity.

 

The unprecedented lockdown has resulted in tourism revenues tumbling at an alarming rate in the National Park with over £100 million in losses racked up already, including valuable advance group bookings from both UK and international markets being cancelled for the whole year, according to James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.

 

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland with over 4 million visitors a year generating spend of over £420 million and sustaining thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.

 

He warned even if the current restrictions are lifted in time for the peak summer months tourism businesses will have a slow recovery due to factors such as essential social distancing precautions still requiring to be in force and many visitors from important UK and overseas markets being reluctant to travel until an effective virus vaccine is in place. He estimates total losses could exceed £200 million by the end of the year with many businesses struggling to survive.

 

Mr Fraser, who is in regular contact with a  number of businesses in the National Park, said: ’’In the 40 years I have been involved in the tourist industry I have never witnessed a situation as bad as this and it is much worse than the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 that led to the shutdown of the countryside.

 

‘’In the past 6 weeks it has been upsetting to see so many well run predominantly family businesses, which have been built up with hard work over many years, in such a state of turmoil and fighting for their very existence through no fault of their own.

 

‘’Most businesses have gone from looking forward to what was shaping up to be a bumper year with good trading levels to a situation overnight with income generation falling to zero and with no end in sight.’’

 

He cited numerous examples of medium sized businesses already losing, on average, £1-2 million so far. Three cruise companies operating on the National Park lochs have lost over £4 million collectively. Hundreds of smaller tourist accommodation, catering and retail businesses and businesses in the supply chain such as tradesmen, laundries, bakers and butchers are also losing substantial sums.

 

Mr Fraser added: ’’The response to the growing financial crisis in the tourism sector from both the UK and Scottish Governments and local MSPs and MPS has been impressive and, following representations made locally and nationally, it is very encouraging to see some of the support packages being modified for the better.

 

‘’However, given the sheer scale of the downturn in tourism revenues, which no Government support scheme can fully cover, many businesses have been forced to take out very substantial loans as part of their fight for survival and it will take many years for them  to recover from what has been, and continues to be, a catastrophic situation here in the National Park and elsewhere with tourism so hugely important to the economy’’

 

In a recent report the OECD estimate declines of 45% to 70% in the international tourism economy in 2020, depending on the duration of the crisis and the speed with which tourism rebounds.

 

Spring/Summer Voice Magazine - Get it Here!

      

Usually, by this point in the year, the Friends team are mopping their brow after a busy few weeks of distributing the latest copy of Voice magazine to members and supporters across the National Park and far beyond. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the lockdown was announced just as we took delivery of this years Spring/Summer edition and we have therefore been unable to get these delivered.

The good news is, we do have an online version for you to peruse, which as always, is packed with Park news, Friends updates and lots of lovely photos from around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs! (Please note that some of the 'diary dates' published may now be subject to change or indeed cancellation) 

The latest edition, as well as all back copies of Voice, can be found on the 'About Us' page. For ease, the link is here: 

http://www.lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk/the-voice

Enjoy!

 

May AGM Cancelled

Update on Friends Annual General Meeting scheduled for 19th May

Due to the current situation with coronavirus, we have taken the decision to cancel our AGM which had been due to take place on 19th May at Ross Priory. We are currently determining the most appropriate alternative arrangements to allow us to meet our obligations under the consitution.

Further details will follow in due course.   

Volunteer Event Postponed

A message for all our volunteers:

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs have taken the decision to postpone our Make A Difference Day at Balmaha on 26th March, in line with recent government advice on social gatherings.

There are lots of worthwhile tasks for us to do there and we will be rescheduling the event as soon as it is safe and practical for us to do so - we hope you will still be able to volunteer your time to help us make a positive difference to this beautiful location.

All those who have signed up for the event will be contacted regarding the new date, as soon as possible.

In the meantime, stay safe and well.

 

Sunset Cruise 2020

We are delighted to share the date of our ever-popular annual Sunset Cruise!

On the evening of Wednesday 12th August, guests can once again enjoy a scenic cruise on Loch Lomond, complete with musical entertainment. Ticket prices remain at just £12.

For further information or to reserve tickets, please email: info@lochlomond trossachs.org.uk or call 01389 727761  

 

Help Us Make A Difference!

You are once again invited to Make a Difference in Scotland's first National Park!

Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs would love to welcome you, your company, friends and/or family to come along to one of our volunteer events in 2020.

Our 'Make a Difference' days are organuised to encourage everyone to come and volunteer for a day, meet new people and contribute to making the wider national park area an amazing place to experience

The schedule this year is as follows:

March 26th at Balmaha

May 21st at A82 Loch Lomond

Sept 24th at Strathyre/Loch Lubnaig

Oct 29th at Luss

For these events, we are partnering with the National Park Authority, The Oak Tree Inn, Forest Holidays and Luss Estates. Events will include activity such as cutting back overgrown vegetation and invasive non-native shrubs, litter picking/beach cleans, path and ditch clearing – all in beautiful surroundings!

At each location, a light lunch will be provided as well as any necessary tools and high vis jackets/gloves. Please wear comfortable outdoor clothing and appropriate footwear.

Please contact the Friends at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.