Destination Loch Ness Ltd
Destination Loch Ness Ltd (DLN) is a not for profit, private sector lead organisation which aims to work in partnership with the public sector for the benefit of tourism, tourism businesses and the communities around Loch Ness, an area of not only outstanding natural beauty but with a rich social and cultural heritage.
The organisation was established in May 2006 by a small number of the key businesses operating on and around the loch who felt very strongly that the visitor experience of Loch Ness could be, and needed to be, much improved if Loch Ness was to retain its iconic position in Scottish tourism. In order to achieve this DLN believe that it is necessary to create a product that is strong enough to effectively compete in global tourism markets.
From small beginnings, the organisation has grown considerably and now has over 100 business members and 4 business association members spread over a geographical area that includes Inverness, Cannich and Strathglass as well as the immediate areas around Loch Ness.
The Board of Directors of DLN are drawn from the key tourism sectors, hotel, self catering, B&B and Visitor Attractions. There is also one director representing Highland Council and two representatives at board level from British Waterways and Historic Scotland. The present Chairperson is Robin Murray and the Executive director responsible to the Board for driving forward DLN, is Graeme Ambrose.
Each member business pays an annual membership fee to be part of the organisation. To become a member tourism businesses must either be Quality Assured or meet within one year, a Trip Advisor(or Flipkey if self catering) rating of three stars or more. In addition they must also demonstrate commitment to the principals of environmental tourism through either membership of the Green Tourism Business Scheme, VisitScotland Going Green Initiative or the principals contained in the DLN Code of Conduct.If a member is not directly involved in the tourism industry we ask only that they commit to the DLN Code of Conduct The reason that DLN require these criteria to be met is that we believe that no destination can truly claim to aspire to being world class if the tourism businesses do not themselves aspire to provide an outstanding visitor experience.
In return from the commitment of businesses to DLN they receive a number of member benefits including full listing and option of on-line booking facility on our website www.visitlochness.com and regular news, updates and event information through our other website www.nesslink.co.uk which is also paid for and operated by DLN.
However, all the other efforts of DLN are directed at improving the product on the ground, and thus improving the visitor experience of Loch Ness. In order to achieve this DLN believe that it is necessary to:
- Improve the viewpoints and lay bys around Loch Ness making them not only more accessible but more interesting for visitors.
- Improve the piers and jetties around the loch providing new and enhanced visitor ways of seeing and exploring Loch Ness
- Increase the provision of art and specialist retail
- Increase the provision of outdoor activities and leisure attractions, especially important are water sports and walking, cycling and wildlife activities.
- Improve gateway signage and local signage which informs the visitor
- Enhance visitor information at key points around the loch. The area has a rich social, cultural, and industrial past.
- Promote skills development of businesses and their employees as well as promoting a greater understanding of the industry to the local economy
- In partnership with the key public agencies, build a tourism support structure for the area
DLN has made progress with a number of these objectives. However, if ultimately these objectives are to be achieved and Loch Ness is to be a better place for all visitors to enjoy, it requires that all interested parties work together for the benefit of Loch Ness.