Tuesday, January 31 2017
Destination Organisation Love Loch Lomond is the first winner of £300,000 from the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Destination Development Fund, an annual competition for ideas that will grow businesses, increase spending and support innovation.
Love Loch Lomond, a business and tourism partnership, was successful after convincing Scottish Enterprise its ideas had the energy and fresh approach to make a significant impact on the sector’s future. The new funding allows the partnership to deliver a step-change project for its destination. Love Loch Lomond has partnered with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park as well as The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs to deliver components of the overall project.
Danny Cusick, Director for Food and Drink, Tourism and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is a true collaborative project with all the key partners coming together to focus on an exciting new opportunity in marine tourism, and help the businesses in the area capitalise on this to drive increased visitor spend in the Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs area.”
Scottish Enterprise was impressed by the way the organisation’s partners came together to form a strategic objective, and delivery plan. Each partner is contributing time and money, and delivering an element of the project based on its strengths.
By building on the key theme of marine tourism, Love Loch Lomond is moving away from general destination development activities and is instead focusing on a specific opportunity that can drive substantive impact for the region. This project work will appeal to international visitors and is exploring new methods of interacting with businesses.
The business and tourism partnership formed a strategy that is identifiably Loch Lomond in flavour, but where its distinct towns, villages, waterways and hills can retain their own appeal. Each area can be capitalised on, with businesses tapping into the identity, enhancing visitors’ experience. The partnership’s vision is to use the destination more effectively. Love Loch Lomond wants visitors to enjoy a more rounded experience, for example, encouraging them to stay longer and explore more of what’s on offer. This will encourage businesses to help each other and attract new custom.
The project will help businesses to increase their knowledge of industry trends, complementary offers and experiences. The funding will pay for partners to develop their expertise through workshops and new information-sharing resources. There will also be help for businesses to improve their use of digital methods to attract visitors, including training events and access to a web portal where businesses can share what they learn.
Karen Donnelly, Love Loch Lomond Destination Manager said: “We named our bid ‘Collaborating for Success’ as partners and businesses had been working separately and realised they would have a better chance of maximising opportunities for businesses if they joined efforts. Better dialogue put people at the forefront – both in terms of delivering services and using them”.
Karen explained: “The award means that Love Loch Lomond and its partners can continue to grow and assist the tourism industry to raise standards and encourage growth. We are dedicated to working to capitalise on the area's tourism potential and to enhance the visitor experience. This work would not be possible without the assistance of the Scottish Enterprise, Tourism Destination Development Fund.”
Charlie Croft, Tourism Adviser at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said: “Visitors to the National Park expect a world class experience and continuous investment is essential to keep up with this expectation. We will be working with businesses and partners to develop new tourism products and services whilst carrying out destination specific research to ensure our industry is well informed and able to respond to changing behaviours and trends.”
James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs said: “This funding boost will enable us to roll out an ecotourism initiative that helps tourism businesses to capitalise more on the special natural heritage qualities of the National Park and the Clyde Sea Lochs that has not been possible before and this should help to more strongly position the area as a must visit destination in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.’’