Tourism Development Strategy

The fullWester Ross Tourism Development strategy document is available here 

This is the opening few paragraphs

Wester Ross is an area of the North West Highlands with a population of 6,000. The main population centres are Ullapool, Gairloch and Lochcarron, although there are a large number of smaller villages and rural communities.

Tourism is a key component of the local economy. 16.1% of Wester Ross’s working population are employed in the distribution, hotels and catering sector, compared with 9.3% across Highland region as a whole. Distribution, hotels and catering is the largest employment sector in Wester Ross. In addition, 23.1% of local housing stock is used as second or holiday homes. This compares with 6.2% across Highland region as a whole. (All figures from Highland Council, “Wester Ross Facts and Figures” appendix to Wester Ross Local Plan)

Visit Wester Ross is one of a number of local tourism and business associations and community organisations with an active interest in developing and promoting tourism. It is the only such body that aspires to represent and support tourism interests throughout Wester Ross, rather than a smaller, more localised part of the area. As such, it is recognised as the foremost private sector led tourism body in the area by agencies such as Highlands Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland, and has sought to develop an area wide remit by liaising and working in partnership with other localised groups.

Visit Wester Ross developed out of the earlier Celtic Fringe tourism group, which primarily focused on the National Scenic Area of Wester Ross. Celtic Fringe collaborated with Gairloch & Loch Ewe Action Forum (GALE), a community owned charitable development company, Lochcarron & District Business Association, Gairloch Business Association and Ullapool Tourism and Business Association on the Tourism @ Wester Ross Initiative, which developed and began implementing a Marketing Strategy for the area in 2005. However, the initiative disbanded when it was unable to secure sustainable funding streams to implement the Strategy in full.

Celtic Fringe changed its name to Visit Wester Ross in order to continue to progress elements of the 2005 Marketing Strategy across all of the area. Visit Wester Ross currently has approximately 160 member businesses and organisations.

Visit Wester Ross have now commissioned Tourism and Leisure Solutions to assist in drafting a new Tourism Development Strategy for the area that will identify and prioritise tourism development opportunities to 2020. 


Alec Cormack

The last 25 years has been focused on helping clients understand their customers, using technology that allow them to sell in a smarter way. This is achieved by educating clients to understand customer needs and meet customer expectations by use of appropriate business processes and tailored software tools.