The iconic landmark Loch Ness will benefit from an extra £2 million government investment to boost inbound tourism, chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander announced today.
Plans with national tourism agency, VisitBritain, will be unveiled to further boost inbound tourism, spend and jobs across an area of Scotland already witnessing record visitor numbers.
The campaign will see extensive advertising, digital and business to business activity launched in key tourism markets featuring the famed Loch Ness monster until 2019.
VisitBritain’s campaign activity could generate an extra £3.5 million per year for local Inverness businesses, equating to roughly £14 million over a four year period.
Alexander said: “I’m delighted to provide £2 million for a four year campaign to promote one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
“The Loch is a jewel in the crown of the Highlands tourism industry, which creates and sustains many jobs in Scotland.
“Around the world, Loch Ness is one of the best known places in the UK, so it’s right we place it the heart of our international tourism campaign.”
Latest international figures available (at city level) show that Inverness regularly attracts more than 200,000 overseas visits a year and this campaign has the potential to see this figure reach 250,000.
Wider inbound tourism across Scotland is one of the country’s best performing sectors. New figures for the first nine months of 2014 suggest that Scotland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, as well as iconic landmarks which already exist across the country, have resulted in record international tourism spend during its peak holiday season.
New analysis of figures suggest that for the first time in seven years, international visits to Scotland passed the one million mark (1,069,000) in quarter three of 2014, eight per cent higher in the three months to September 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
These visitors spent a new third quarter record of £846 million during their stay, representing a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Loch Ness campaign will be part of VisitBritain’s GREAT Britain campaign, which has boosted inbound tourism to the UK from priority markets around the world.