Tourists travelling on the West Highland line can now enjoy its brand new audio tour, which offers an immersive experience for one of the most scenic railway lines in the world.
The audio tour has been created in collaboration with ScotRail, Geotourist and the University of Dundee and is part of a bid to lift the travel experience by providing interesting detail pointing out the history, culture and the West Highlands' incredible natural beauty.
The line also features many popular film locations, from blockbusters and cult classics such as ‘Harry Potter', ‘Trainspotting' and ‘Local Hero'.
As tourism is a growth industry for Scotland, the initiative has recognised the value of offering an immersive experience for tourists from all over the world.
It is expected that the project will encourage tourism whilst supporting local communities and businesses which feature along the route. ScotRail also recently introduced Highland Explorer carriages, which are more geared towards tourism and active travel.
ScotRail is just one of 20 other organisations to work with Geotourist to create audio tours to enhance customer experience, enjoyment and understanding through a bespoke narrative.
The audio tour can be found at ScotRail's website or via Geotourist's easy-to-use mobile app. The tour's content has been carefully put together to feature historical insights, local stories and points of interest as passengers travel on the route. The tour aims to please all, whether they be history boffins, lovers of nature, or just out to enjoy the impressive West Highlands.
The project will discover and assess the unique financial and social benefits that Geotourist's approach will bring to tourism in Scotland with the results being released in a paper written by Dr Keith Dinnie of the University of Dundee. Dr Dinnie and Geotourist CEO Shaon Talukder will also write further an industry report. There will also be an online event held for stakeholders of the Scottish tourist industry.
The project has been funded via the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund, which is administered by Interface, which oversees both funding and collaboration work for Scotland's universities, colleges and research institutes.
Alasdair Smart, ScotRail Tourism Manager, said:
“We're delighted that customers travelling on the West Highland Line can now benefit from a more immersive experience thanks to the new audio tour.”
“From the hustle and bustle of Glasgow to peaceful and picturesque Mallaig at the end of the line, it's a side of Scotland you can only see from the train, and a magical tour of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.”
“It's important that we continue to work with our key partners on how we can boost tourism and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland's most scenic railways.”
Shaon Talukder, Geotourist CEO, said:
“We are overjoyed to welcome ScotRail on board the project. Working on this project with all of our partners has been a hugely rewarding experience and we're only really starting out.”
“The partner mix is enormously compelling, with many different aspects of the Scottish visitor economy ready to be explored. Every tour is special because it captures truly authentic content that showcases why Scotland is a world-class destination for any tourist.”
“Now, we're going to be able to see where they travel from and what they travel for. This project will directly inform decision-making and help to make the most of tight budgets. Alongside the practical and business-focused outcomes of the project, we must not forget the storytelling experience which connects visitors to the world around them.”