A three-year project to help the tourism sector in the Cairngorms National Park area recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic has been given £350,000 backing from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The funding will enable the Cairngorm Business Partnership (CBP) destination management organisation to take on two additional staff.
The area attracts around two million visitors annually and tourism accounts for 43% of employment and 30% of its economy.
As part of the project, which has an overall budget of £650,000, CBP will provide support and advice to communities looking to improve their visitor offerings.
The HIE funding is from £3m approved by the agency in September 2020 for “strategically important” tourism destination management organisations over the next three years, as part of wider support for the tourism sector’s recovery.
CBP chief executive, Mark Tate, said: “The three years of funding will give us the security we need to play our part in planning the recovery of the economy and further develop a sustainable and vibrant Cairngorms tourism sector.
We are delighted that we can offer two new jobs to take the work forward.
“The extra resources also mean we can consult more with members and communities to develop existing and new products that deliver outstanding visitor experiences in a way that is sustainable for our communities and our environment.”
James Gibbs, area manager of HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, which covers the most populous area of the park, Badenoch and Strathspey, added: “Tourism is central to the local economy in the Cairngorms National Park area and is a vital source of employment.
“Cairngorms Business Partnership provides valuable co-ordinated support, tailored to the specific needs of tourism operators in the area.
We need to make sure the group has sufficient resources to be as effective as possible and we look forward to working with CBP, other partners and our tourism businesses to achieve a successful and sustainable recovery for the sector in that region.”
HIE recently announced similar founding for tourism recovery in the Outer Hebrides.