Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Highland Council To Set Up Tourism Working Group

14th December 2017

The Highland Council has agreed to set up a tourism working group to take a strategic overview and set priorities to support the success and growth of tourism in the Highlands.

The Council has also agreed to identify financial support that allows EventScotland and their partners to bid for future major International events to be hosted in Highland.

Sustainable tourism is one of Scotland's key growth sectors and is the Highlands' most important industry, generating significant economic benefits for the area, worth £965m of direct spend by tourists in 2016 and a further £226m of indirect expenditure by the tourism industry purchasing goods and services in Highland. This brings a total economic impact of £1.2 billion, directly supporting over 24,000 jobs.

Tourism has seen a period of sustained growth with the overall economic impact of tourism growing by 34% over the period 2012 - 2016 and 2017 has been another exceptionally successful year. One early indicator, the number of visits to visitor attractions, has seen numbers increase by 8.7% for the period January to September 2017 - double the rate of increase of 4.3% seen in the rest of Scotland.

In addition to providing economic benefits, tourism also brings a range of wider benefits to Highland and many of its communities, supporting a range of local services, an increased numbers of air routes and helping to position Highland as an attractive place which in turn assists in attracting inward investment.

Globally one of the growth areas in tourism has been in event tourism such as mountain biking, golf and music events. Attracting and retaining such events in Highland is not necessarily straightforward, and requires significant resource to support such bids.

Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "The significant success of tourism in the Highlands is to be welcomed. We are a region which is rich in scenery, culture and heritage and it is wonderful to see tourists flocking here to experience our beautiful Highlands.

"Notwithstanding the welcome increase in tourists, the Council recognises the need to resolve a number of infrastructure challenges in order to support the continued growth and success of tourism in the region. Resolving these issues is not something that the Council can accomplish on its own. It will require both a joined up approach between the Council, communities, businesses and in some cases other public sector partners and will also require additional resources. However, the Council is well placed to take an overview of these issues and has the ability to play a significant role in addressing many of them together with our partners and other agencies."

The pressures on infrastructure vary from place to place and indeed across the year but some key issues include inadequate parking at popular tourist sites; extensive single track roads not designed with this level of use in mind; a lack of public toilets in some locations; irresponsible (and illegal) disposal of waste; increased erosion of paths; and limited electric vehicle charging points."

Cllr Henderson added: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s recent recognition of the issues and announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Details of how the fund might be used and by whom have yet to be announced, but £6 million shared across Scotland over 2 years, will not make much of an impact on challenges of this scale.”


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big CutsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big Cuts
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds.   The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.  
Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal WindfallThumbnail for article : Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal Windfall
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.   The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.  
The staggering true scale of council job cutsThumbnail for article : The staggering true scale of council job cuts
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest.   In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.  
Highland Businesses Urged To Be On Scam Alert
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses.   The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.  
Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme CriteriaThumbnail for article : Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme Criteria
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government.   The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.  
Stay safe with New Year sales advice from Trading Standards
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain.   Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.  
Scottish Government rules out ‘tourist tax' measures
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table.  The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.  
Employees compensated following change to recycling contract
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste.   Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.  
Food business fined for food safety rules after ignoring previous warning
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food.   An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.  
Commission On Highland Democracy Report LaunchedThumbnail for article : Commission On Highland Democracy Report Launched
The Commission on Highland Democracy has this week launched its report at the meeting of The Highland Council.   The Commission, which was supported in its work by The Highland Council, but is independent, has produced a comprehensive analysis of the state of democratic participation in Highland.  

[Printer Friendly Version]