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£1.5m Further Investment In Visitor Management Approved By Highland Council

10th September 2021

Given the importance of tourism to the Highland economy and the need for the tourism experience to be positive for visitors and communities, members have agreed to extend the Visitor Management Plan funding into the 2022 season by a one-off investment of £1.5m.

A one-off Visitor Management Plan investment of £2.4m agreed by the Council in March 2021 for this year's season has enabled a range of service improvements.

This includes: an enhanced waste collection service; 14 new Comfort Schemes to be provided now numbering 50; building improvements to 7 out of 75 Council run public conveniences; operational support for the new Storr toilets; support for a community group running portaloos; car park and other road improvements; work on delivering additional motorhome waste facilities; enhancements to visitor management infrastructure in Aviemore and a pilot public transport scheme in Skye.

Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Seasonal Access Rangers have made a real difference to many Highland communities during the busy season. Engagement with visitors, communities and landowners and the offering of information and advice has been the priority of their work."

Chair of the Tourism Committee, Cllr Gordon Adam added: "The investment in Visitor Management across the Highlands has made an enormous difference so far. There is always more we can do and this additional funding will help us to make further improvements in advance of the 2022 season."

The Rangers submit weekly & monthly reports with user numbers, ‘hotspots' have been identified and monitored along with any other sites of concern highlighting issues with informal camping, parking, litter & overflowing bins, fires, outdoor toileting.

There has been extensive positive feedback from communities, members, organisations and visitors. To the end of July, on nearly 800 patrols, over 11,000 people advised of Outdoor Access Code, 5500 tents recorded off-site with nearly 2000 toileting sites.

Action has been taken to reducing the effect of fires on vegetation damage and risk of wildfires. 2276 fires, 71 of which the ranger extinguished as causing risk. There has been a significant reduction in the amount of litter and the effect of the litter left. 700 bags of litter have been removed.

The Rangers have also encouraged responsible parking, moved on many obstructive vehicles in passing places and elsewhere. Over 40,000 vehicles were observed parked with 160 parking warning notices issued. They have also worked with communities and landowners to reduce or resolve issues, engaging with 35 community councils and numerous organisations and individuals.


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