Have your say on the future of Loch Awe eco-tourism

The December meetings are open to anyone with an interest in starting a business or has an established business related to tourism in the area around Loch Awe.Photograph: Lorne Gill/SNH

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This December, local tourism businesses and those interested in starting a tourism-related business can share ideas on new ways to promote the local area at a meeting run by the Argyll Isles Tourism Cooperative (AITC), with support from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

SNH are supporting the AITC to review sustainable, nature-based tourism businesses around Loch Awe, encouraging exciting new enterprises, and marketing that encourages more people to explore the outstanding natural beauty of Loch Awe.

Stephen Austin, SNH operations officer in Argyll, said: ‘Loch Awe and its natural heritage and landscapes are a valuable resource with potential economic benefits for our local communities.

‘This project provides an opportunity for connecting people with nature through tourism: ‘ With many people living in Scotland choosing to give flights a miss and help reduce their carbon footprint, exploring all this country has to offer is becoming a popular choice.

‘We hope this initiative could kick-start the longest loch in Scotland becoming a must-see destination for sustainable tourism.’
Fergus Murray, head of Development and Economic Growth of Argyll and Bute Council, added: ‘We very much welcome this drive to utilise Argyll’s fantastic natural heritage resource for sustainable economic growth. It is a very strong fit with the overall Wild About Argyll positioning and one we strongly support.’

Carron Tobin of AITC is coordinating the review and initial meetings will be held in December.

The first meeting will be held on December 4 at Ford village hall from 3-5pm and 5.30-7.30pm; this is followed by a meeting on December 5 in Dalmally New Village Hall from 3-5pm and 5.30-7.30pm.

The meetings are open to anyone with an interest in starting a business or has an established business related to tourism in the area around Loch Awe. For more information about meetings email info@wildaboutargyll.co.uk or phone 07715773660.

In 2020, Scotland is celebrating the Year of Coasts and Waters. This review is part of AITC’s work leading on a major pan-West Coast initiative known as West Coast Waters, aimed at encouraging more people to visit the West Coast, traveling the roads less travelled, and to get on or in the water.