Jobs to go as Visit Scot­land aban­dons Camp­bel­town

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - Mark Davey ed­i­tor@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.

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