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Saturday, 30 June 2012

New co-operative puts Scotland's hidden tourism gem on the map

The Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative, has launched a new bus service, letting tourists and locals explore the wonders of the Highlands.
This pioneering hop-on/hop-off bus service is designed to showcase the area of Breadalbane as Scotland’s hidden tourist gem. It is the brainchild of the Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative (BTC) - a collection of businesses working together to promote the wider area.

The Breadalbane Group was originally formed by the Rural Team at Scottish Enterprise over four years ago as one of its 'Planning to Succeed' groups and continues to receive facilitation support. Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has also supported the scheme.

Sarah Deas, chief executive of CDS, said: "Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative is an excellent example of what can be achieved by the consortium business model. It allows businesses in the area to come together and launch this exciting new route which will put Breadalbane on the map in every sense.

"It seems especially appropriate to be launching this exciting scheme in the UN-designated International Year of Co-operatives and we wish it every success. By setting up a consortium BTC has been able to secure funding and buy-in from two different councils as well as a range of businesses in the area."
The group has secured funding from Stirling and Perth & Kinross Councils, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scottish Enterprise, Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust (Big Tree Country) and number of local businesses within the Explorer's 'Ring'.

Ken Chew, chairman of BTC, said: "We are very excited about this new initiative. As far as we know this is the first time a tourism group has collaborated in this way. We have successfully sourced funding from both the private and public sector and secured buy-in from two different councils in the area."
The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer pilot scheme will encourage visitors and locals alike to explore the rich culture, heritage and landscapes of central Scotland, from whisky to wildlife. The service will benefit local residents and cater for those with bicycles. It will breathe new life into rural communities by providing viable public transport and maximising the tourism offer of the area.

Co-operative Development Scotland

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