Opportunities for local businesses

One of Scotland’s Great Trails has received a boost that will benefit local businesses and tourist destinations across East Lothian.

 Funding has been secured by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) – who manage The John Muir Way – for a two-year marketing initiative dedicated to attracting more walkers and cyclists to the iconic coast-to-coast route. A key focus will be to collaborate with businesses along the route, with a view to promoting them as a part of the John Muir Way experience.

 The initiative will help local businesses across East Lothian interested in working collaboratively with The John Muir Way to reach new customers and grow their organisation. To indicate their interest in this opportunity, the businesses are encouraged to provide their details and answer a few questions by completing a short survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/johnmuirway-business

Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive for VisitScotland

 Gavin Morton, Marketing and Business Engagement Officer for The John Muir Way, commented: “I’m looking forward to working closely with businesses along the route who are keen to raise their profile as a destination on The John Muir Way. We’re in a fortunate position to have a growing market for walking and cycling tourism, together with a fantastic and unique asset to promote. There is a real opportunity for local businesses to make the most of this increased footfall by working with us.”

 Keith Geddes, chair of CSGNT, added: “We’re delighted to receive this funding and would like to thank the LEADER Programme and all the local authorities involved. The funding will not only help us to continue raising awareness of the route and the legacy of leading conservationist John Muir, but will ensure that we have the resources in place to work more closely with local businesses to maximise the opportunities The John Muir Way presents.

“Since its launch, The John Muir Way has grown in popularity with both domestic and international walkers and cyclists visiting the area, whether to do just a short section or the full route. There continues to be strong interest from John Muir’s adopted home, the USA, further reinforcing the economic opportunities of the route to Scotland.”

 Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive for VisitScotland, welcomed the news, saying: “Spanning 134 miles, from Helensburgh to Dunbar, The John Muir Way showcases some of Scotland’s best natural assets, landmarks and towns. I am delighted to hear that funding has been secured for a new marketing campaign which will bring even more visitors to the Central Belt to enjoy this fantastic route.

 “These visitors represent a major benefit for local businesses and the visitor economy. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

 The project has been financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community through the LEADER 2014–2020 Programme and by Local Authorities along The John Muir Way. For a full list of project funders, visit: www.csgnt.org.uk/jmw-marketing-project

Published: Friday, 13th July 2018