Joint effort to secure Skye tourism
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.