Skye islanders call for 30-year tourism strategy

TOURISM on the Isle of Skye requires a strategy over the next 30 years to cope with growing popularity, residents are claiming.

The Cuillin mountains is one of Skye top tourist attractions. Picture: Ian Rutherford/TSPL
The Cuillin mountains is one of Skye top tourist attractions. Picture: Ian Rutherford/TSPL

Business leaders say additional pressure is being placed on the landscape and services and a plan is needed to enable tourists to continue to enjoy their visitors.

A campaign is underway to improve car parking and bus services, but Rob Ware of tourism group Skyeconnect said a long-term strategy is needed for the second most popular tourist destination after Edinburgh.

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    He told BBC Scotland: “We don’t want to turn Skye into Disneyland, but I think there has to be an overall tourism strategy that looks 10, 20 even 30 years ahead.”

    Islander Richard Powell, meanwhile, has launched a community fundraising campaign to extend parking facilities in Glenbrittle, near to the Fairy Pools beauty spot which attracts thousands of visitors a year.

    He said: “For the residents down in Glenbrittle life is pretty much a nightmare most of the year now.”

    He said the volume of traffic resulted in people parking on the roadside, making it difficult for residents to get in or out of their homes and to receive deliveries.

    Staffin Community Trust also has plans to increase spaces available to people visiting the Old Man of Storr.

    But islanders are calling for more facilities to be provided, including more public toilets as they claim some visitors are relieving themselves outside.

    There has been complaints about the local authority-run toilets in Uig, which have been out of order since the beginning of the year. Highland Council said it was seeking quotes for the repair work needed.