Bumper season for Laggan Outdoor

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As the national tourism organisation gears up to host its annual national tourism globes, one of the region’s finalists is reporting a bumper summer season.

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, near Gatehouse of Fleet, offers a great variety of activities and boasts the UK’s longest zip wire, which opened last year. The centre is reporting a 40 percent increase in visitors over the summer compared with the same time last year.

Adding to its existing portfolio, Laggan Outdoor has now introduced “night zipping” for after-dark thrillseekers. This means jumping off a platform to enjoy a half-mile steep descent in the pitch-black of the Galloway night.

The company has also recently invested in an onsite cafe which helps attract more people off the A75, and a significant amount is being invested in upgrading facilities over the winter to help enhance the quality of the visitor experience.

Earlier in the year Laggan Outdoor won a Scottish Thistle Award in one of four regional ceremonies and beat off stiff competition from businesses based in other Scottish regions to win in the Tourism Entrepreneur category. It now joins four other businesses from Dumfries and Galloway on a shortlist to attend the national Scottish Thistle Awards being held this November.

The Scottish Thistle Awards are organised and hosted by VisitScotland and recognise quality and excellence in the tourism industry.

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “I’d like to wish all the Dumfries and Galloway finalists for the Scottish Thistle Awards the best of luck for the national final in November. It is a great achievement to reach the regional finals, and for any south of Scotland businesses to win the national accolade would be terrific.

“Next year we’re set to welcome the world to Dumfries and Galloway with key Homecoming Scotland 2014 events taking place here, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup creating a new enthusiasm in outdoor activities and golf, and businesses throughout the region, such as Laggan Outdoor, are really gearing up to capitalise on these opportunities.”

Duncan McConchie, owner of Laggan Outdoor, added: “We have had a fantastic summer season and increased our staff numbers by 60 percent this year to deal with the demand. We’ve welcomed more than 2500 people down our zip wire in the past seven weeks alone and night zipping proved popular, particularly with locals throughout August.

“It’s great to have made it through the regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards and to win at the national final would be the icing on the cake.”

Winners of the south-west regional Scottish Thistle Awards ceremony competing in the national final are: Newton Stewart Walking Festival, Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith’s Shop, Solway View Holidays, Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre and Tour of Britain.