Transform Scotland has today (Tuesday 23 June) launched a new guide, ‘Car-Free Tourism’, which provides directions for tourists to reach Scotland's top 24 visitor destinations without the need for a car, as well as instructions for tourism operators to improve sustainable transport access to their sites across Scotland.
The ‘Car-Free Tourism’ website provides detailed instructions on accessing the sites without having to jump between a number of travel planning websites. Each page has all the information tourists require to travel to the site without spending time on lots of research. Walking and cycling routes are provided as files that can be downloaded to smartphone apps and GPS devices. The site also provides advice for tourism operators encouraging them to develop or improve sustainable travel options for visitors.
Jolin Warren, Head of Research at Transform Scotland, said:
“It's easy to visit most of Scotland’s popular tourist attractions on foot, by bike or by public transport. Our new guide presents the best of Scotland without a car. It provides visitors with detailed but simple instructions on the nearest railway station, local buses, as well as hand-chosen walking and cycling routes.
"There are of course hundreds of other visitor destinations across Scotland. We hope that our guide will inspire those managing these sites to look at how they too can improve access by public transport, by bike, and on foot."
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, said:
“Visitors arriving by foot and on bike bring a host of benefits. They can improve their health through taking exercise. It means fewer cars on the road and as a result less pollution. Cyclists and walkers also tend to have a greater local economic impact. But, perhaps more importantly, by improving access by public transport and active travel, tourist attractions are opened up to the third of Scottish households who have no access to a car."
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
“This is an excellent initiative which will provide visitors to Scotland with alternative, environmentally friendly ways of getting to some of our outstanding attractions. As part of our Quality Assurance Scheme, VisitScotland encourages Scottish tourism businesses to promote public transport options and car-free activities, and Transform Scotland’s new guide will prove a useful resource to visitors and business owners alike.”
The project is being launched at Glasgow's Riverside Museum as, in recent years, much investment has gone into improving transport links to the site, with improved off-road walk and cycle routes, the Nextbike bike hire, SPT's 100 Riversider bus service from George Square, and the recently-revamed Partick Interchange.
The 'Car-Free Tourism' website is available at <http://tourism.transform.scot>.
Transform Scotland have also launched a video illustrating the project. This is available at <http://tourism.transform.scot/about-the-project/>.
The website includes:
A map showing the 24 most popular tourism attractions in Scotland, each linking through to a profile page for the attraction.
Profile pages for each attraction providing details about the best non-car routes for travelling to the site, and what facilities are provided, so that a visitor can quickly and easily plan a trip. PDF and GPX files for the cycling and walking routes are provided, so it is easy to print out a route or add it to a cycle or walking app. The pages also provide links to transport operators and travel planners.
A page for tourism operators encouraging them to develop or improve sustainable travel options for visitors. This provides the Green Access Audit toolkit, Visitor Travel Plans guidance, and the Car-Free Tourism website checklist.
'Top 24' destinations
The destinations considered as part of the project are the 24 most-visited tourist attractions as according to VisitScotland's 'Tourism in Scotland 2013' report <http://www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/tourismstatistics.aspx>:
- National Museum of Scotland -- 1,768,090 visits in 2013
- Edinburgh Castle -- 1,420,027
- Loch Lomond Shores -- 1,140,119
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum -- 1,044,067
- St Giles' Cathedral -- 940,530
- Scottish National Gallery -- 933,296
- Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith's Shop -- 761,487
- Edinburgh Zoo -- 760,897
- Riverside Museum -- 740,276
- Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh -- 664,407
- National War Museum -- 572,361
- Gallery of Modern Art -- 572,152
- Edinburgh Bus Tours -- 555,422
- Glasgow Botanic Gardens -- 430,000
- Stirling Castle -- 411,726
- Falkirk Wheel -- 409,142
- Glasgow Science Centre -- 390,375
- Robert Burns Birthplace Museum -- 327,973
- Urquhart Castle -- 310,446
- Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre -- 301,782
- Royal Yacht Britannia -- 300,161
- Scottish Seabird Centre -- 271,443
- CairnGorm Mountain Railway -- 230,136
- Culzean Castle and Country Park -- 218,949
Colin Howden, Transform Scotland director, on 07956 394121.