The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley tourism industry stands to benefit from investment of over £174 million over the next three years, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and its key local and national partners has revealed.
The updated Tourism Development Framework, first published in 2013, aims to highlight the importance of the visitor economy within the wider investment and infrastructure plans of local and national agencies. The Framework is closely aligned to and supports the contributions of the industry-led “Tourism Scotland 2020” strategy.
The £174 million figure for the region represents overall public and private sector investment in major infrastructure projects being delivered across the region that is expected to have an impact on the visitor economy and support tourism growth.
Key projects in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley include:
• Queens Quay, West Dunbartonshire
• Stirling Station Gateway Street Enhancement
• National Conservation Centre, Stirling
• Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway
• Sauchie Tower
The total amount of investment, across Scotland in the next three years, is estimated to be over £16 billion.
Transport is one of the key themes of the refreshed Framework, with travelling around Scotland a key part of the experience for visitors. Investment projects aimed at enhancing the customer’s transport experience are valued at over £8 billion. Major projects include:
• Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project
• Queensferry Crossing
• Upgrades to improve Scotland’s popular scenic routes, including the dualling of the A9 from Perth to Inverness, and routes in Dumfries & Galloway
• Significant improvements to rail, ferry and airport infrastructure
VisitScotland research has found that cars are the most popular mode of transport used by domestic visitors to Scotland. On average, there were 8.2 million domestic trips to Scotland by car each year from 2006 up to 2014. In addition, the use of trains to Scotland has increased since the economic downturn, with on average of 1.6 million domestic trips to Scotland each year up to 2014.
Digital investment worth £486 million is also outlined within the Framework, including plans to deliver fibre broadband access to at least 95% of premises in Scotland by the end of 2017.
The Framework, which is supported by all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities and a range of national agencies, identifies projects that are due to start or be completed over the next three years covering all aspects of the visitor experience including digital, transport, accommodation, nature, heritage, towns and cities, and events and festivals.
The Tourism Development Framework for Scotland can be downloaded from visitscotland.org.