Project: Tourism infrastructure web map
Community Group: Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC)
Location: Across Argyll and the Isles
Region: All regions

Project summary

ACT Hubs worked with AITC to create a web map of infrastructure associated with visitors and outdoor activity. The aim of the map is to identify locations where the visitor experience can be enhanced by improving or developing sites or facilities.

Project details

Happy holidays

Day trips and holidays in Argyll and the Isles are becoming increasingly popular, with a 13.1% increase in visitors in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016*. In the 2015/2016 Visit Scotland visitor survey the top two reasons that attracted people to Argyll and the Isles were the “scenery and landscape”, and “to get away from it all”. Seven of the top ten activities undertaken by visitors to Argyll and the Isles were outdoor activities including walking, visiting a beach and wildlife watching.  Sightseeing by car/coach/on foot was the top-rated activity, suggesting that visitors like to travel around the region and experience the wonderful landscapes Argyll and the Isles has to offer.

Visitor management and the provision of appropriate infrastructure is currently a hot-topic in Scotland. The rise in popularity of destinations such as the Isle of Skye and the North Coast 500 route have brought much-needed revenue to rural areas but also emphasised weaknesses in the rural infrastructure. Enabling visitors to stop safely and access basic facilities is a key issue for visitor management and sustainability. It is also a way of encouraging time and money to be spent within local communities and rural locations.

AITC were keen to work with ACT Hubs to identify sites in rural Argyll and the Isles that could be improved to enhance visitor experiences, and to manage visitors in a sustainable way that protects the environment and brings benefits to the local economy. 

* Argyll and Bute Council Update on Tourism Activities, March 2018 

Support from ACT Hubs

We agreed to develop a map illustrating rural infrastructure and how it links with outdoor access and facilities. ESRI UK won the contract to design the web map and worked with us to display long distance routes (including walking, cycling and kayaking trails), forestry recreation routes, toilets, parking, public transport hubs, electric vehicle charging points, pontoons and marinas, picnic sites, camp sites and approximate visitor numbers at attractions. The map will allow us to assess where visitors can go, what facilities are available to them in rural areas and what is needed to improve the experience - for the benefit of visitors, locals and the environment.

More information

This mapping project is not intended as a tool for planning trips or for providing visitors with information. Instead it is a tool for us to work with communities and partner organisations to plan future projects that will benefit visitors to Argyll and the Isles.

Up to date visitor information and advice for planning journeys around Argyll and the Isles can be found on the Wild About Argyll (AITC) website.