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Indian Visitors Provide Welcome Boost to Loch Lomond Tourism

Scottish holiday destination Loch Lomond and Love Loch Lomond member business Cruise Loch Lomond have featured in the news recently, due to a welcome upsurge in tourism visits from the Indian market.

A visit to Loch Lomond is high on the agenda for a growing number of Indian tourists who are keen to experience the delights of the Bonnie Banks from aboard the popular and varied loch cruises – one of the best ways to enjoy Loch Lomond’s amazing and world-famous scenery.

The welcome rise in overseas visitors from this emerging market is thought to have been caused by a sudden interest in the Scottish market from tour operators abroad. It is also growing because of visitors keen to find out more about their Scottish ancestors, or those who have links with family and friends living or studying and working in Scotland.

In an interview with The Herald Newspaper, Stuart Cordner, Managing Director of Cruise Loch Lomond, and Chair of Destination Organisation Love Loch Lomond, admitted that on some weekends, his company was experiencing saturation point with the number of visitors from India. Cruise Loch Lomond has six boats on the loch and can have as many as 250 Indian visitors arriving for a trip at weekends.

Stuart Cordner welcomed the fact that more and more visitors from India and Bangladesh were choosing to visit the destination and that they “wanted to tick the 'Loch Lomond box' and experience “the whole Scottish package”. Stuart said that the company's Indian visitors “are just blown away by the scenery at the north of the Loch, adding, "The feedback we get is that they really enjoy themselves. They are a very warm and open people."

Visitors arrive by coach at Tarbet and take a one-hour cruise before disembarking again at Inveruglas to continue their trip on to the Highlands.

Of the company's Indian visitors, Stuart added: "They are in awe of the loch and want to see Ben Lomond and Rob Roy's cave. They know about that from the film or from reading Walter Scott's tales of Rob Roy MacGregor."

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said the increase in visitors from India and beyond was the result of years of work behind the scenes to break into what are considered lucrative markets, including Russia and China, all of which have strong potential to grow further, with early indications for 2013 looking positive.

Mr Cantlay added: "When you add in a rise in buyers coming to our annual trade expo, continuing improvements in air connectivity to the country's major airports and the momentous sporting and cultural events in 2014, Scotland is in the perfect position to grow these markets even further."

Read the original news article by Jody Harrison of The Herald here.

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