With a firm commitment to ongoing development, the Loch Earn Tourism Information group has continued harnessing social media, boosting membership and securing press coverage - all to showcase the area's diverse offerings and outstanding beauty.
In readiness of a busy year for Scottish tourism as part of the Year of Food and Drink, LETI's website now features an interactive Recipe Calendar, where a Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETI) member chef, author or baker creates a new recipe that is launched at the start of each month. This is a great example of website engagement and encourages interaction between LETI, its members and visitors. Last year Homecoming Scotland was a perfect fit for LETI, during which they developed a programme, alongside the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, giving the group a variety of opportunities which significantly boosted visitor numbers.
To strengthen LETI's knowledge and application of social media, 20% of members underwent training aimed at developing digital marketing skills facilitated by a specialist from the Love Loch Lomond online portal. Alongside a strong online and digital presence, LETI has been careful to exploit a mix of media and an investment in PR activity has successfully targeted major magazine titles. This was demonstrated last year during Homecoming Scotland; which helped give LETI an authentic hook to engage the press with exciting themes, such as tales of local clans at the area's highland games, features on the burial place of the legendary Rob Roy MacGregor, and even a local shop offering cushions made from clan tartan.
The investment in this digital marketing and PR training is already bringing rewards. LETI has helped promote the Strathyre Music Festival, the Stuc a' Chroin Hill Race and the MHOR food festival, with even more activity planned across the local area as a result of these successes. As the group continues growing and evolving, top of the list is developing a strong brand image which can be used across the entire membership.
Amid the new initiatives, LETI's founding aims of working together, focusing on key themes and listening to others remain a high priority. Regular meetings see ideas shared and discussed, and members happily recommending one another's businesses to visitors.
Moving forward, the last year has seen the group welcome more members - a drive that's benefited from the offer of a basic website listing to non-members in the area. It's an initiative that allows smaller businesses to be included and one that means visitors have the widest possible joined-up access to local attractions, facilities and services.
Kim Proven, Chair of Loch Earn Tourism Information group, said:
"Although we're focused on showcasing the gateway from Perthshire, Stirlingshire and The Trossachs to the Highlands, everyone at LETI understands our efforts are part of a bigger nationwide strategy.
“The high profile national VisitScotland and Year of Food and Drink themes fit perfectly into our promotions, as does partnership working with both the public and private sectors. We're ambitious for the future and will keep ensuring our visitors and tourists are welcomed, looked after and made to feel part of our community."
For great advice on making sure you make the most of the Year of Food and Drink, check out Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Food and Drink intelligence guide to see how it can benefit your business.