Mike Cantlay, chief executive of VisitScotland, marked the beginning of Scottish Tourism Week (4-13 March) with the observation that we suffer from a poor appreciation of tourism’s importance to Scotland’s economy. He also bemoaned the fact that visitors’ knowledge of Scotland becomes “patchy” after whisky, tartan and the Loch Ness Monster.
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Cantlay, but, unlike him, I don’t think that our tourism industry’s tough times can be blamed on the weather. Since when did anyone come to Scotland to enjoy our temperate climate? If anything, our weather should be added to his list of things that tourists do know about Scotland.
Whether he chooses to believe it or not, the fact is that our own SNP government has a poor appreciation of tourism’s importance to the economy. That is why the unbridled deployment of vast numbers of industrial wind turbines scours our iconic landscapes and visitor attractions.
Instead of lamenting that Scotland’s tourist industry is under-appreciated, Mike Cantlay should finish off Scottish Tourism Week by telling us why VisitScotland has not objected to wind farms that will loom over the shores of Loch Ness, the Old Course at St Andrews, Culzean Castle, Loch Lomond, Straiton and many other world-renowned locations which do attract visitors.
STRUAN STEVENSON MEP
Conservative Euro MP for Scotland