North Highland Visitor Management Group – working together for visitors and communities.
The North Highland Visitor Management Group is a partnership of the emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard) and a range of Highland Council services covering roads, parking, litter and waste, rangers, environmental health and public toilets. Input from Councillors and communities is also shared. Other partners include SEPA, Forest and Land Scotland and HIE. Representatives from the NC500 media team also attend meetings.
Chair of the Council’s Tourism Committee, Cllr Gordon Adam said: “The Highland Council and its partners have invested significant resources to support visitors and local communities this summer. It is imperative that we work together to ensure that we use these resources as effectively as possible, the weekly Visitor Management Group meetings are an effective way to achieve this.”
The group aims to make sure that visitors to Highland enjoy themselves this summer whilst keeping safe and are aware of their rights and responsibilities. It also aims to help manage the impact visitors have on the communities hosting them and reduce the associated pressures due to the high number of people visiting the area.
The Group is meeting weekly throughout the tourism season to share information and resolve any issues of concern, including a round-up of the main issues from the previous week and anticipating the following week.
By working together, the partners are clear about where responsibilities lie with particular issues and are able to provide clear and consistent information to visitors and communities. The group can also identify areas of concern and by working together, target resources to best effect; ranging from additional bins to increased ranger patrols to Police road traffic patrols and speed enforcement.
The overwhelming majority of visitors want to enjoy Highland responsibly and are reassured and happy to cooperate with the support and advice offered by the various services. There have been instances when unacceptable behaviour has been challenged and our visitors have responded positively to this.
Visitor Management issues should be reported on The Highland Council website at www.highland.gov.uk/report - the online forms are available 24/7.
People can contact the Access Ranger team, but we do ask that people are realistic in their expectations. The team is not an emergency service and are there to educate and engage rather than enforce. They can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phoning the Senior Rangers on 07881 298503 for the South (Skye, Lochaber & SW Ross) and 07909 051223 for the North (all other areas)