Measures taken by the council to protect the Argyll and Bute’s outstanding natural environment are helping to ensure the area remains one of Scotland’s top tourism locations.
Argyll and Bute’s reputation as a hugely popular visitor destination continues to soar and, at a meeting of the council’s Environment, Development Infrastructure Committee, councillors heard that a series of staycation initiatives have proved successful.
The council launched its Staycation Project following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to address a surge in visitor numbers across the area that had prompted some concerns about the impact on local communities and pressures on infrastructure.
A package of measures was introduced which successfully tackled a variety of issues such as littering, inadequate toilet facilities, the need for waste disposal points, and parking facilities for campervans and motorhomes.
These included the appointment of a dedicated staycation project officer and staycation wardens, increased street sweeping and uplifts, regular anti-littering campaigns and the introduction of improved parking facilities.
Now, with domestic and international visitor numbers showing signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels, the council is working with its partners to take additional steps to ensure the local environment is safeguarded, and tourism facilities can cope with the surge in visitors.
- Dedicated web pages on advice for visitors
- The Motorcaravan Overnight Parking Scheme which provides dedicated parking facilities for drivers of campervans and motorhomes
- A planned upgrade to the car park and toilet facilities at Glenmorag
- Introduction of Welcome to Argyll and Bute and passing place signage
- Re-introduction of portable toilet facilities at 11 tourist hot spots across the region
Argyll and Bute Council Leader, Councillor Robin Currie, said: “The feedback we have received from our local communities about the measures delivered through the staycation fund have been very positive, particularly around new infrastructure, additional information on available facilities and how to behave responsibly in our beautiful area.
“As well as the increase in domestic tourism and staycations, it’s great news that we’re now seeing an uplift in international visitors, all of which means that we must continue to be vigilant in terms of the impact this can have on the environment and on local people,
“We will continue to liaise with our partners to ensure that we respond to the challenges and opportunities that may arise.”