Industry Toolkit

Sense of Place Toolkit Section 2: Our Destination


  1. Destination "Need to Knows"
  2. Location, location, location
  3. Why is Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs Special?
  4. Business Benefits
  5. Working together - it's a Win-Win
  6. Responsible Tourism

Sharing key facts, information and stories about your destination's places and spaces helps build a richer experience for visitors and guests: 

  • Before they book, to whet their appetite and help them decide
  • During their stay, to enhance their experience
  • After they've returned home to encourage them to return and to tell others.

This section offers useful facts and information summaries on Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs, information on the key qualities of each area within the destination, the benefits to businesses, and how working together can bring greater benefits for all.

1. Destination "Need to Knows"

Having a selection of quick and quirky facts about your local area is useful when engaging with visitors.

You may want to incorporate some of these into your own marketing and promotional materials, use them as 'snippets' in social media posts, or share them with your visitors at different stages. You might also have created your own collection, tailored to your business and local area.

It's worth keeping this information in an electronic version which you can easily update.

Local organisation websites Love Loch Lomond, The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs are packed full of useful information which you can share with visitors, and their social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer instant updates.

Download the Loch Lomond Need to Knows information sheet (below) for useful facts and information on key areas of the destination. 

Check out Key Facts about Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Discover Ten Facts about Loch Lomond's Islands.

Find out ways to enjoy the National Park from Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.

Other templates you may find useful:

Top Tip

When searching for new travel experiences, visitors love "Top Five" or "Top Ten" lists of suggestions for inspiration - this could be a blog post or a list on your website. Put together your own using key facts and info.

Further information and resources

VisitScotland has a range of toolkits to help you develop different themes, activities and more. Check them out here.

2. Location, location, location

What does it mean to be located within a National Park?

Being located within or near a national park has many advantages for communities and tourism businesses.There are 15 national parks in the UK, two of which are located in Scotland. These areas are protected by the government because of their beautiful countryside and important habitats, wildlife and cultural heritage. Communities live and work in these national parks and their farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape and wildlife.

National parks welcome visitors and also provide opportunities for everyone to experience, enjoy, and learn about their special qualities (National Parks UK, 2017). Each national park is looked after by an organisation called a national park authority, which includes members, staff and volunteers.

National park authorities have to protect the countryside while letting people enjoy it, and also make sure that local communities can make a living. Protecting and promoting these areas helps to preserve their special qualities and encourage more people to visit the area and support local communities. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (NPA, 2017).

This information is extracted from the Case Study, "Capitalising on the ecotourism potential of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Clyde Sea Lochs."  produced by Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs as part of the Collaborating for Success Project.

Top Tip

An important task for tourism businesses is "selling" the destination's unique features. Great visuals, video and social media are an effective way to do this, and to engage with potential visitors in real time too.

3. Why is Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs Special?

What's Special about Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs?

Research carried out by Scottish National Heritage, assessing the special qualities of the National Park revealed that it was diverse and defined by four landscape areas: Argyll Forest, Loch Lomond, Breadalbane and the Trossachs. The Clyde Sea Lochs add to this diversity by providing a fifth area of interest.

The results of the study identified the main features of each area and without ranking them acknowledged that the combination of features gave the areas their scenic beauty. The specal qualities of each area making up the destination are listed below, reproduced from Scottish Natural Heritage and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority (2010).

Special Qualities of the National Park

General Qualities

  • A world-renowned landscape famed for its rural beauty
  • Wild and rugged highlands contrasting with pastoral lowlands
  • Water in its many forms
  • The rich variety of woodlands
  • Settlements nestled within a vast natural backdrop
  • Famous through-routes
  • Tranquillity
  • The easily accessible landscape splendour

Loch Lomond

  • Immensity of loch and landscape
  • Two lochs in one
  • A multitude of beautiful islands
  • Distinctive mountain groups
  • Ben Lomond, widely known, popularly frequented
  • Banks of broadleaved woodland
  • Peaceful side glens

The Trossachs

  • A traditional Gateway to the Highlands
  • A harmonious concentration of lochs, woods and hills
  • Rugged Ben Venue, the centrepiece of the Trossachs
  • A landscape of beautiful lochs
  • The romance of the Trossachs
  • The resort of Aberfoyle and The Duke's Pass
  • The curious wooded hillochs of Aberfoyle
  • The gateway town of Callander
  • The tranquil Lake of Menteith

Clyde Sea Lochs

  • Seals, basking sharks, wading and seabirds seen from the coastal trail
  • A diverse and beautiful coastline to explore
  • The gateway to historic Dumbarton and the Clyde
  • The architecture and history of Helensburgh and Dunoon
  • Stunning Arrochar Alps & the Cobbler
  • Glacial fjord of Loch Long

This information is extracted from the Case Study, "Capitalising on the ecotourism potential of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Clyde Sea Lochs."  produced by Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs as part of the Collaborating for Success Project.

Top Tip

Compile your own suggestions for visitors to explore the area by themes, such as romantic, peaceful, active, & outdoors - or by seasons - winter walks, rainy-day activities, autumn colours.

Further information and resources

Find more details about how the research was undertaken and read the results in detail here.

4. Business Benefits

How can these unique qualities benefit your business?

The wider national park area has world-wide recognition for its stunning landscapes as well as being a route to the west and north. Information about accommodation, services and facilities is the key to encouraging visitors to stop. En-route facilities such as manned visitor centres or notice boards are excellent, but websites and social media provide pre-trip material and mobile technology provides instant up to date information (when a signal is available).

Reviews via Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook evaluate businesses on a daily basis, and businesses should pay attention to what visitors are saying about them. Reviews focus on activities, attractions and facilities directed at visitors, but also of other local services such as cafes, shops and garages. Some also provide information on sites of interest, walking routes and viewpoints as well the more traditional historic sites. The easier it is for visitors to access activities and key services, the more likely they are to recommend / return to your area.

Social and digital media is an effective way to 'listen' to what visitors are saying about the area, if they are asking questions in TripAdvisor forums or on social media, and a quick way to respond to visitor enquiries in real time, for example, using Twitter to tell visitors where to have Sunday lunch, the best pubs, what's on in the local community, what's happening with local festivals and events, and weather and traffic reports.  

Top Tip

Set up Google alerts on search terms for your business and for the area to keep up to date with what people are saying about the area. Save keyword searches in Twitter, such as #lochlomond to find out what people are saying and to respond to potential business enquiries.  

5. Working together - it's a Win-Win

Working together to enhance the visitor experience

Customer experience is the bottom line in tourism. A great customer experience is facilitated by collaboration and cooperation between providers. Being aware of the activities and services on offer in your area and being able to tell your clients is the basis for a good customer experience. Data protection prevents you from sharing guest’s details, but by suggesting activities or recommend reliable service providers you will please your visitors as well as other local businesses. Similarly if someone has a bad experience, find out why, it will inform your choice in future and if you pass it back to the trader, alert them to poor performance.

Working together to develop the destination

An important task within collaboration amongst tourism businesses is selling the destination in a joined up way. Love Loch Lomond has developed a range of initiatives and activities over the years, including a dedicated website which promotes activities, events, accommodation and restaurants throughout the area, strong social media activity, video and blogs, campaigns via print and social media, and travel trade exhibitions for tour operators and travel media, attracting a high number of journalists, bloggers and travel writers and broadcasters to the area.

Many tourism businesses which have participated in Love Loch Lomond learning and development workshops, networking events and travel trade missions have formed successful working partnerships with other businesses. These not only allow them to offer new experiences for visitors, but also give all partners access to 'new' customers, and help greatly in promoting the best of the destination - a win-win situation.

Creative Collaborations

There are some great examples of business collaboration in action. Here are just a few examples:

  • In Your Element offers a range of outdoor experiences and adventures for the guests of East Cambusmoon Holiday Cottages, Forest Holidays, and Luss Estates, including The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel.
  • Lomond Woods Holiday Park partners with Balloch based businesses including Sweeneys Cruises to offer activities for guests.
  • The award-winning BLiSS Trail has linked up an entire tourism community through art installations in unique rural venues and locations, developing the trail into a smartphone app and audio guide featuring stories about each location.
  • The Oak Tree Inn at Balmaha has developed its own food and drink products including ice-cream and coffee, and has worked together with local partners to provide festivals and events, and more recently, a new pontoon to offer water-based services and cruises to and from Balmaha.
  • Argyll Holidays has developed a Pet-Friendly Scheme, in association with the Scottish SPCA. Having seen a 56% increase in dog holidays in the last four years, the scheme means that for every dog that stays with Argyll Holidays, a donation will be made to the Scottish SPCA to help keep dogs safe across Scotland.

Top Tip

Other ideas for collaboration include sharing transport and pickups to ensure your clients can move freely about the area, or working together with local food and drink providers to provide welcome packs for guests in self-catering accommodation.

6. Responsible Tourism

Protecting and Safegarding our Special Places

The Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs area is enjoyed by large numbers of visitors and locals each year. In order to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy and celebrate the special landscapes of the area, it's important for the wider business community to know what support and assistance is available, and to be able to share this information with visitors and customers to help them respect and protect the destination for future generations.

Responsible Business, Responsible Tourism

All tourism businesses have a responsibility to their customers and visitors and to their local environment. When considering business and operational activities, they should always consider the environmental impact. Managing the business and the activities undertaken by visitors should respect of the environment and attempt to minimise resource usage and waste. There are various codes of conduct, recommendations and legislation to ensure that your business does not damage the natural areas which surround you. 


The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs provide lots of valuable information for businesses, which can also be shared with visitors and customers. 

Other templates you may find useful:

Top Tip

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has some great tips on its website for respecting the park and staying safe - check out the link opposite and share with your visitors.

More Inspiration

  • Articles and Case Study
  • Articles and Case Study
  • Nature
  • Nature

Related Resources

Sense of Place Toolkit Section 3: Our Visitors