Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Cairngorms National Park

Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Cairngorms National Park Picture

The Cairngorms National Park is Britainís largest National Park (it is 40% larger than the Lake District). It is also one of the most spectacular landscapes in the UK and an area that has been popular with visitors since Victorian times.

We were brought in by the Cairngorms National Park Authority in 2004 to develop a sustainable tourism strategy. The aim was to balance the need to manage and stimulate tourism to the area with the need to avoid damaging the very natural assets on which the tourism industry depended. The Authority also wanted the Strategy to underpin a bid for the Cairngorms to achieve the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

To ensure the strategy was tailored to the needs of the area, we engaged in a considerable amount of consultation prior to writing the document. This involved meetings with key stakeholders, a postal survey of tourism enterprises and a workshop attended by over 70 local enterprises and organisations. The result of this consulation was that many valuable ideas generated via the process made it into the final strategy and action plan. It is also pleasing to note that the document did form the basis of a successful application to receive the European Charter in August 2005.