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Research plans for John Muir Way

Learning what visitors want from the John Muir Way

A new survey aimed at capturing visitor experiences and exploring opportunities for businesses along one of Scotland’s newest long-distance routes has been commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage.

The John Muir Way

The John Muir Way is one of Scotland’s newest and most beautiful long-distance routes. Totalling 134 miles, it runs from Helensburgh on the west coast to Dunbar in the east, leading to the birthplace of naturalist and author John Muir.

Opened in April 2014, the route is already attracting visitors keen to walk, cycle or even ride parts of the route on horseback, and provides opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy a variety of landscapes, countryside and places of interest on day trips or on longer, coast-to-coast adventures.

Navigating opportunities

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has now commissioned a survey to learn more about these experiences and are looking to discover how many people are using the route, what they like about it and how their visitor experience could be improved.  

The research will include interviewing 500 visitors along the length of the route over a 12 month period, with the findings due to be published in early 2016.  

SNH will also be talking to a sample of businesses operating along the route to find out exactly what they’ve done to take advantage of the new opportunities and what impact the John Muir Way has had on business. Participating businesses will include hospitality providers, retail outlets, baggage transfer businesses and guiding companies.

“We’ve seen new businesses develop and grow, and others benefit substantially from the new clientele we’ve attracted,” Ashleigh Tooth, Policy and Advice Officer with Scottish Natural Heritage, told us. “In future years this is likely to increase as more people walk or cycle the route”.

Don’t forget to check out the research findings on the SNH website early next year. In the meantime, find out more about the John Muir Way and read the Tourism Intelligence Guide on Walking Tourism.

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