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New National Park and Eco Tourism Project Launched

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, has launched an exciting new two year ecotourism initiative and has appointed a Project Manager appointment to take this forward.

Dr Jared Bowers, who hails originally from the US state of Virginia, but has lived in the UK for over 10 years, has taken up the new post of Ecotourism Project Manager with the Friends and his role will be to work with local business and partner bodies to help capitalise more on the ecotourism credentials of the National Park and surrounding area.

Having seen the pioneering fundraising ‘Friends of OUR park’ project go from strength to strength over the last six years, the Friends aim, with Jared’s expertise, will be to ensure there is a real focus on developing sustainable ecotourism businesses and creating a wider range of nature and activity based products and services in the National Park and Clyde Sea Lochs area.

The initiative has been made possible through funding support from Scottish Enterprise and in kind office support services from the National Park Authority as part of a wider destination development project being coordinated by the trade led group, Love Loch Lomond. The Friends will also be working closely with Dr Kathy Velander, Director of the Ecotourism and Wildlife Management Centre at Edinburgh Napier University.

Jared, who most recently graduated with a PhD from Newcastle University in 2013, has experience of ecotourism and sustainable tourism in many parts of the world. Having started working as a guide, leading various ecotourism tours in his native USA, he has also worked as an ecotourism manager in Guyana, worked on ecotourism consultancy projects in Africa and Azerbaijan and developed practical and academic training content on sustainable tourism for large international projects. During his time in Scotland, he has guided the development of tourism activities at Kelburn Castle and Estate in North Ayrshire.

Jared said: “I am very excited about joining the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs team as their new Ecotourism Project Manager. I have been a regular visitor to this beautiful area for many years and I very much look forward to working with local businesses and others to develop ecotourism products that appeal to visitors while protecting and promoting the special qualities of the area.”

Friends Chairman James Fraser added: “This is a project which we believe has great potential and Jared’s role will be crucial to helping local businesses tap into new markets and making more of the special qualities of the area in innovative and sustainable ways. I would encourage local businesses to contact Jared for advice and support so that we can strengthen our overall ecotourism product offering in what is an increasingly competitive market place.”

Jared can be contacted on 01389 727813 Monday-Wednesday or by email:

jared.bowers@lochlomond-trossachs.org 

Photo caption: Jared Bowers, new Ecotourism Project Manager with Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.

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