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Destination Development. Graeme Ambrose , Destination Loch Ness Ltd. Why Destination Loch Ness (DLN) was established ? What are the key stages in the process of destination development and how DLN has used this framework ?

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Destination Development

Graeme Ambrose,

Destination Loch Ness Ltd

Why Destination Loch Ness (DLN) was established ?
  • What are the key stages in the process of destination development and how DLN has used this framework ?
  • What have been the challenges and how DLN has endeavoured to meet these challenges ?
  • What next ?
destination loch ness ltd
Destination Loch Ness Ltd
  • Established May 2006
  • Board of 9 directors and 2 advisers to the Board representing Historic Scotland and British Waterways
  • Over 100 member businesses covering all tourism sectors as well as shops/services
  • Five local business associations affiliated to DLN
  • A geographical spread of members encompassing Fort Augustus & Invermoristion, South Loch Ness, Drumnadrochit, Strathglass, Beauly and Inverness
  • Websites &
Why was Destination Loch Ness established ?
  • There was an understanding that as a destination Loch Ness was ‘tired’, with a low level of visitor spend and high level of economic leakage out of the area
  • There was an understanding amongst a number of key businesses that if this was to change it required a new approach, an approach that put the destination and improvement of the visitor experience in the destination at the centre of all development
Benefits of this approach
  • The Visitor: increased satisfaction leading to longer stay, greater spend, increased repeat visits and a higher likelihood of recommending others
  • The Destination: increased competitiveness as a result of collaboration and shared resources driven by a clear market focus
  • The Businesses: increased profitability and viability from increased visitors spending, year-round tourism activity, opportunities for collaborative working and marketing


Understanding the destination
  • What are it’s strengths and weaknesses ?
  • What are the key markets at present and what are the markets that are key to the future of the destination ?
  • How does Loch Ness compare with other destinations?
  • How does the destination measure up in its own right?
Re branding, away from simply a ‘must see’ destination to a ‘must experience’ destination
  • Encouraging the increased provision of quality serviced accommodation
  • Working with public agencies to enhance the viewpoints and lay bys around Loch Ness – making them not only more accessible, but creating opportunities to see Loch Ness in different ways
  • Working with public agencies and interested private businesses to improve the piers and jetties so that they become again not only usable, but of a standard that will provide new and enhanced visitor experiences and encourage the growth of new ways of seeing and exploring Loch Ness.
  • Promoting the increased provision of art and specialist retail
  • Promoting the increased provision of outdoor activities
  • Increasing the provision of gateway signage and local signage which informs the visitor
  • Enhancing the provision of visitor information at key points around the loch.
How do you turn your vision in to reality ?
  • A clear strategy for growth
  • Industry buy in and commitment
  • Public sector buy in and commitment
  • Community support
  • ‘Champions’ who will help drive the strategy forward
  • The skills attitude and knowledge of people in the destination to enhance the visitor experience
  • A clear marketing strategy for the destination
  • Adequate funding to deliver growth and sustainability
Understanding better the priorities of businesses and delivering real member benefits that reflect this
  • Engaging directly with the businesses and communities
  • Engaging directly with the public agencies
  • Developing Nesslink
  • Using our ‘champions’ to support the concept of destination development
  • Using customer feedback to support the need to improve the visitor experience in the destination
  • Working towards self sustainability
How will we measure success?
  • By the level of visitor satisfaction
  • By the improvements on the ground in the destination as a direct result of customer feedback
  • By the improvements in business standards as a result of customer feedback
  • By the investment that DLN itself is able to make in the destination
  • By the collaborative working of DLN and public agencies to improve the product on the ground
  • By the volume and value of tourism to the area
  • By business confidence and investment
  • By support from businesses for DLN