Joint ef­fort to se­cure Skye tourism

The Oban Times - - News -

PROGRESS is be­ing made to en­sure Skye re­mains ‘the jewel in the High­land crown’ fol­low­ing a sec­ond meet­ing to dis­cuss tourism pres­sures on the is­land.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes said she was en­cour­aged by the progress of plans for tourism on Skye af­ter a meet­ing with tourism group SkyeCon­nect and lo­cal coun­cil­lors who are work­ing to­gether for the good of the is­land.

She said: ‘I share peo­ple’s frus­tra­tions over the sum­mer but the key is unit­ing as a group with a plan for the is­land.

‘I was pleased to meet again with SkyeCon­nect and lo­cal coun­cil­lors and hear about the progress we are mak­ing. I can as­sure ev­ery­one we are work­ing ex­tremely hard to de­liver sig­nif­i­cant changes for next sum­mer.

‘This work is run­ning par­al­lel to other ini­tia­tives, par­tic­u­larly those led by lo­cal groups in­clud- ing Staf­fin Com­mu­nity Trust, and I also have sought the help of Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary for Tourism Fiona Hys­lop.

‘If we can each do our bit and work to­gether for a com­mon pur­pose of re­liev­ing the pres­sures on Skye, we will be suc­cess­ful.’

Coun­cil­lor John Gor­don said: ‘We all ac­knowl­edge the need for ca­pac­ity re­gard­ing in­fra­struc­ture and mak­ing the is­land eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to tourists and res­i­dents.

‘The meet­ing with all Eilean A’ Cheo coun­cil­lors, Kate Forbes and SkyeCon­nect was a step for­ward in ad­dress­ing the is­sues we all face.

‘Skye is a suc­cess story and we need to build on that so that our econ­omy con­tin­ues to thrive, the in­fra­struc­ture is in place and our beau­ti­ful scenery is pro­tected.’

In June, SkyeCon­nect chair­woman Shirley Spear was a guest speaker at the first of a se­ries meet­ings or­gan­ised by Ms Forbes to iden­tify and find so­lu­tions to the pres­sures on the is­land caused by in­creases in tourism.

Af­ter the meet­ing in Portree on Mon­day Au­gust 7, Ms Spear said: ‘SkyeCon­nect is keen to work with lo­cal coun­cil­lors and MSP Kate Forbes on be­half of the peo­ple of Skye. We want to see sig­nif­i­cant changes for next year and en­sure that over the longer term Skye is as well pre­pared as pos­si­ble to wel­come vis­i­tors to the is­land.

‘All of us see the need to en­sure Skye gets the in­vest­ment it needs and we are com­mit­ted to work­ing with elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives and other com­mu­nity lead­ers to make that hap­pen. The group agreed to meet again in Au­gust so work can start in late au­tumn and over win­ter.

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