Friday, 28 November 2008
John Scott urges official Key Tourism Destination status for Ayrshire
AYR MSP John Scott has this week called on the Scottish Government to support Ayrshire’s drive to increase the number of tourists visiting the county, by supporting the designation of Ayrshire as a ‘Key Tourism Destination’.
John Scott (pictured above) made his call during Question Time in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday where he challenged Tourism Minister Jim Mather to back the proposal. And Mr Scott received what he believes to be a ‘very encouraging’ reply.
John Scott said: “When Scotland’s economic development agencies were restructured last year, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire was scrapped and replaced with a new strategic body covering Ayrshire, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire. The same regional grouping is also now used by national tourism agency VisitScotland.
“That means for the purposes of strategic economic and tourism development Ayrshire has been linked with a number of powerful central belt authorities, and I have had long-term concerns over the impact this might have on investment in our area and local economic growth.
“One way in which Ayrshire could be helped in terms of boosting our crucial tourist industry would be for the Scottish government to support Ayrshire’s designation as a ‘Key Tourism Destination’, which would increase our tourism profile and could lead to considerable investment in local infrastructure and facilities.
“In his answer to me the Minister expressed what I felt was a very encouraging attitude, and indeed said that he would be willing to explore ways to achieve this designation. This is a matter I will be following up with the Scottish Government to press home Ayrshire’s case for a real tourism boost.”
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