Jobs to go as Visit Scotland abandons Campbeltown
Despite a tourism boom in Campbeltown, its iCentre is one of 39 to be shut by Visit-Scotland.
One full-time member of staff and two part-time posts will go when the shop based in the New Quay’s Mackinnon House finally shuts its doors in 2019.
The national organisation has based its decision on a decade of visitor figures despite a rising trend in the past two years.
The figures show that since 2006/7 when inquiries stood at 63,668 the decrease in footfall has been 58 per cent.
Numbers reached a low of 21,889 in 2014/15 but last year, 2015/16, rose to 22,483 and are up a further 4,079 this year to 26,562.
The decision has been met with outrage from many areas of the community, including other tourist businesses.
Michael Taylor, the managing director of Mull of Kintyre Seat ours, said: ‘This is all made even more difficult to comprehend coming as it does only a couple of weeks after the chief executive’s public statement aptly describing the substantial recent increase in visitor numbers as a “tourism windfall”. The shop I believe has a turnover of £30,000.’
Councillor John Armour said: ‘The closure of the local office will be a huge loss at a time when we are looking at attracting more visitors to the area.’
Argyll First Councillor Donald Kelly said: ‘Regardless of what has been said, tourism in Kintyre is on the rise and is a very important part of the local economy.’
Councillor Rory Colville added: ‘My hope is that those with an interest in tourism in Kintyre will come together and as in Paul McCartney’s song the result will be, “Smiles in the sunshine and not tears in the rain”.’
Malcolm Roughead, the Visit-Scotland chief executive, said: ‘We will work with the community over the coming months to understand the opportunities in Campbeltown.’
A further statement from Mr Roughead will be printed in next week’s Courier.