Hyslop says Trump win won’t hit Scots tourism

Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop
Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop
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Scotland’s tourism minister has insisted that Americans will still be warmly welcomed to Scotland - despite the political opposition to the prospect of Mr Trump entering the White House.

Fiona Hyslop said she did not envisage any change to the “long and strong” links between the United States and Scotland.

She acknowledged the importance of the US market to the nation’s tourism industry, but insisted that the “warmth” of the Scottish people was the country’s biggest strength.

Ms Hyslop, who also has responsibility for external affairs within the Scottish Government, said the result of the US election “must be respected.” She also defended the SNP’s previous backing for Mr Trump’s controversial golf course in Aberdeenshire, which saw ministers overturn a decision by councillors to reject the development at the Menie Estate.

Ms Hyslop said: “The people of America have cast their verdict and Donald Trump should be congratulated for the result.

“But there is a lot of concern and anxiety amongst the population in America and elsewhere.

“It is very important, not just in what he says but what he does, that he respects the need to provide some reassurance to those that feel marginalised. There are going to be very challenging times ahead.

“Relations between American and Scotland are long and strong. That will continue and we want that to continue. Some of it is historic, some of it is about family, but a lot of it is about our tourism industry.

“Many Americans currently visit Scotland. That shouldn’t be affected. It is important to ensure that people see Scotland as a welcoming place. Our biggest strength is the warmth of our people and that must continue.

“I’m not an expert in American polling or the politics of what has happened. But every country is entitled to elect who they want to elect. He has clearly managed to reach out and mobilise a lot of people who perhaps have not voted previously, and in states that have never previously voted for a Republican.

“At the end of the day it is a democracy, the vote has been cast and we’ve got to respect what the American people have decided.”

Asked whether she regretted the support the Scottish Government had offered Mr Trump in the past, Ms Hyslop said: “Business and investment decisions are to be taken on their merits as to what they can provide for local economies.

“Those decisions were taken at the time by those involved. But the final decision was taken my Mr Trump as to where he invested. It was not our decision.”