Fears are growing that the coronavirus pandemic will have a serious, long-lasting impact on the multi-million pound tourism industry on Loch Lomondside and in the national park.

Businesses throughout the area, where tourism is the number one industry, are said to be suffering a severe impact already, with the scale of cancellations growing daily.

Friday's instructions from the UK government that pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants should close heightened worries for business owners and their staff who fear for their jobs.

This week, Jackie Baillie MSP revealed she has been contacted by numerous business owners deeply worried about the possible impact of the worldwide crisis.

Ms Baillie said: "Within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, tourism is the number one industry with an annual value of over £430 million and many thousands of jobs directly or indirectly dependent on the economic well-being of this sector.

"For businesses in this area, the threat of coronavirus is already having a severe impact, with the scale of daily cancellations growing significantly in the past week and the indications are that this is likely to get worse over the coming weeks and months."

She added: “Not only is there a fear as to the future success and viability of these businesses, but there is an immediate concern about how businesses with a reduced revenue will be able to continue to pay staff wages, rent and other costs that come with running a business.

“The Scottish Government’s initial package is welcome but it is clear from comments made to me by the tourism industry that this is not enough to support employers and employees.”

Love Loch Lomond, which has around 40 business members, shares the MSP's worries.

A spokesperson said: "Our member businesses are finding it difficult to cope with the impact that social distancing is having on their businesses and the unprecedented level of cancellations.

"The additional support [from the government] should be available as soon as possible to ensure businesses survive and are ready to react when restrictions are lowered.”

An indication of the dire situation facing many businesses came from Fred Moore, joint owner of Tarbet based Cruise Loch Lomond who said the impact on the company had been "completely devastating" with no bookings for the foreseeable future.

He added: "Indications were that it was going to be a bumper year. We should have been operating every day by now but it's just not happening."

Meanwhile, bosses at Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel at Luss, a popular wedding venue, have announced that "with very heavy hearts" they are suspending trading until further notice.

An announcement on the hotel website states: "We do, however, hope to reopen for business on Thursday April 30, 2020, but that is tentative depending on the ongoing situation.

"We make this announcement to remove uncertainty regarding the immediate future.

"We make this decision to look after the health and safety of others, while also looking after the sustainability of our business and ways to support our team."

It adds: "Our events team will be contacting each wedding / function with the closest first. Please be patient. We will be in touch.

Cameron House Hotel did not respond to the Reporter's request for a comment.

The national park said it was closing all visitor facilities, including car parks, toilets, camping and motorhome sites and its slipway, to discourage any further travel or overnight visits.