Highland Experience welcomes new vehicles

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.
Highland Experience Tours is investing £2m in new vehicles as it continues its post-pandemic regrowth. LOMBARD/HIGHLAND EXPERIENCE

A Scottish travel operator has upgraded its existing fleet thanks to a £2m funding boost from Lombard, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Headquartered on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Highland Experience Tours offers trips which focus on exploring less travelled routes and avoid notoriously crowded spots.

Starting out with just one vehicle, the firm has since grown its fleet to nearly 30 luxury minibuses and small to full-size coaches, and says that Lombard’s support will allow it to purchase an additional five AOS Grand Toro coaches, a move which it adds will result in the creation of more than 20 new jobs and a boost to the rural economies it works in.

Despite enjoying steady growth since 2005, the firm said it had faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, and was forced to downsize its previous fleet in 2020. This new investment marks a renewed period of growth for the operator, which is currently gearing up for the 2024 summer season.

Managing Director Michael Bremmer said: “Ever since we first started Highland Experience Tours, we have been passionate about creating an authentic way to explore Scotland’s hidden beauty which also gives back to the communities and landscapes we operate in. Like many in our industry, Covid-19 was an incredibly challenging time for us, and we had to essentially halt our services with no real idea of when we’d be able to begin again. This obviously took its toll, but we remained determined to come back stronger than ever and have been able to grow the business to beyond even pre-pandemic levels.

“Investing in this new fleet marks a new chapter for us, and we’re incredibly grateful for the support of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lombard in helping us reach this milestone.”

Senior Relationship Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland Steven Gillies added: “Having worked with Highland Experience Tours since 2019, it’s been a privilege to watch the team recover from the pandemic and continue to grow their services and offering. Royal Bank of Scotland is committed to supporting enterprise and Highland Experience Tours is a great example of a resilient business which is focussed on looking to the future.

“Its unique approach to tourism is helping to promote Scotland’s rural landscapes to the world – bringing a significant economic boost to the communities within them – and we look forward to continuing our banking relationship for years to come.”