camping,  Outdoor recreation

Travel: Glenmore and the pursuit of happiness in the great outdoors – HeraldScotland

I laughed out loud on Monday when a friend sent me a copy of The Outjoyment Report, a major camping study carried out by Liverpool John Moores University, Sheffield Hallam University and The Camping and Caravanning Club.

Surveying nearly 11, 000 people, it found that 88% of campers are less stressed, 93% enjoy better wellbeing, 98% take part in outdoor activities and 97% say that happiness is their top motivator for going camping. In conclusion, camping and outdoor enjoyment are good for your mental health plus make you happy.

Well, I was certainly happy, ecstatic even, after reading the Outjoyment Report, as I had just taken on the running of a highly sought-after and very popular Scottish campsite. Following a lengthy and extremely competitive tendering process, my new dedicated outdoor business , Twinflower, had successfully secured the management lease from Forest Land Scotland (FLS) of the scenic Glenmore Campsite, nestled on the shores of Loch Morlich, near Aviemore.

Which, after a hellish two-and-a-half years of Covid paralysis, as well as the current bruising cost of living crisis, felt like a breath of fresh air. The shackles were off, the particular wanderlust was firmly upon me, and my award-winning company, Hold Fast Entertainment , could now expand and diversify through its new devoted outdoor business, Twinflower, into sustainable family, home-grown, tourism.

The particular “staycation” market is worth £15. 5 bn to the UK economy and accounted for over 30 million British holiday goers this year.

Announcing the rent, FLS director of commercial development John Mair said: “Following a rigorous competitive tender process, Twinflower emerged as the strongest bid based on their proposed approach to community values, and an exciting and fully funded sustainable business plan. The team has extensive experience in running hospitality businesses and is active in a range of pursuits including hiking, climbing, cycling and scouting, so have extensive experience of Scotland’s great outdoors. ”

He’s not wrong. I might take the great outdoors at a slightly more sedentary pace, but my management team are all-weather outdoor enthusiasts. I am passionate about tourism and Scotland’s unique natural environment , and extremely eager to use that extensive operating knowledge and over 30 years of experience in hospitality and leisure, to help enhance the local area and attract more domestic and international visitors to Glenmore.

Our businesses operate safely plus legally within one of Scotland’s most heavily regulated, strictly controlled environments. It’s a highly competitive marketplace, where the duty of care to customers and staff is of paramount importance and takes precedence over everything else.

When news of our successful bid broke, We received hundreds of messages from well-wishers. Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, tweeted: “Great example of company operators investing and believing in Scottish tourism and hospitality diversifying their portfolios in times of challenge and opportunity, well done. ” But there was also some anger expressed from a small number of ill-informed individuals, who had gotten themselves into a disparaging flap, that a “nightclub” owner had won the tender. Wrongly believing, that this major employer of a successful Scottish nightclub and promotions business did not have the credentials, business nous and wherewithal to find the Cairngorms on a map, let alone manage a campsite on the shores of Loch Morlich.

However , once our plans had been laid out, many dissenters were able to see the wood for the trees and are now largely supportive in our investment plans for Glenmore. They include a three-year sustainable investment programme, which is committed to working with the local communities to improve the facilities, family friendly experiences and provide jobs plus economic benefits.

There will also be a new simplified booking and customer service system, additional play facilities and new community hub, improved and fully accessible tent, caravan, and motorhome pitches to promote the outdoors to all, enhanced shower facilities and amenities, Wi-Fi connectivity and a “community pitch” initiative which will allocate a percentage of each booking to benefit local good causes. Not a bad pitch, if say so myself, and one which along with the other investments, will, I’m sure, encourage visitors and vacation makers to carry on camping– happily – at Glenmore.

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