Count­ing The Cost

At Loch Ordie by Dunkeld, Nick con­sid­ers Scot­land’s tourism surge

The Scots Magazine - - Take A Hike -

WHAT a sum­mer it was. Glo­ri­ous weather lasted far longer than could ever have been fore­told. And the tourists came in their droves. Some­times they spent plenty of money, which sup­ported lo­cal busi­nesses, and some­times they clogged the roads.

The rise in tourist num­bers, es­pe­cially in places like Skye and on the route of the North Coast 500, is of­ten seen as a prob­lem that needs to be dealt with. Yes, the num­bers are cre­at­ing a strain on in­fra­struc­ture but the fact that they are com­ing should, over­all, be wel­comed.

Af­ter this walk in the peace­ful, rolling coun­try to the north of Dunkeld, the staff in the pubs and cafés do all they can to make vis­i­tors feel re­laxed, and the more who come, the mer­rier. What is needed to help the prob­lems that come with more tourists is some in­vest­ment.

At Loch Ordie, an ex­panse of wa­ter sur­rounded by low hills and ideal for a pic­nic, I met a group of landown­ers look­ing at ways to im­prove their land and the flood preven­tion work on it. The paths were in good or­der; signs meant it was easy to find my way across won­der­fully open coun­try­side, home to an ar­ray of birdlife and su­perb views of Perthshire.

At the same time, two other parts of Scot­land were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­trast­ing lev­els of in­vest­ment. There were re­ports that pub­lic toi­lets on the very pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful North Coast 500 may have to be shut be­cause of a lack of funds.

On the same day Scot­tish En­ter­prise, a “non-de­part­men­tal pub­lic body of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment”, was an­nounc­ing a £12.75 mil­lion grant to Bar­clays Bank to set up an of­fice cam­pus in Glas­gow. How can we af­ford that and not toi­lets for vis­i­tors?

The mill dam in Loch Ordie

Deuchary Hill from the east

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.