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Highland community plans long-term strategy to manage tourism

Picturesque Applecross Bay. Picture by Sandy McCook.
Picturesque Applecross Bay. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A Highland community is aiming to develop a long-term strategy targeting visitors interested in green tourism and a more relaxed holiday.

Applecross in Wester Ross was one of a number of locations blighted by ‘dirty camping’ and antisocial behaviour last year.

The area’s community council has now produced a document outlining a potential strategy for managing tourism in the future.

It has been working with the Applecross Trust on ways forward to balance the income from tourism, including from the North Coast 500 route, against impacts such as traffic, littering and pollution.

The document says: “Balancing a natural environment, local life and tourism has always been a delicate line.

“Tourism, its economic benefits and the influx of people it brings is essential for Applecross to grow and flourish.

“Previously a must-see destination for those wanting a slower pace, to enjoy the great outdoors and to get away from the hustle and bustle, Applecross has now become a must-see overnight stopping point for those completing the NC500 route.”

It suggests encouraging ‘localism’ where visitors can enjoy ‘slow tourism’ as an antidote to stressful living, while also looking at trends such as wellbeing and environmental interests.

And the document adds that Applecross could also attract visitors interested in the environment.

Community Council chairman Jon Glover said: “People want to do the right thing and if you point them in the right direction they generally do it.

“There are growing numbers who care about green tourism and they are welcome to stay longer and become part of our community.

“It’s not about attracting more people, or less people, but the right people.”

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