Skye MSP invites CNN chief to visit island after blacklist row

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The local MSP for Skye has issued a "personal invitation" to bosses at US broadcaster CNN to visit the island after it featured on a global list of 12 destinations to avoid this Summer.

Kate Forbes said "seeing is believing" and has called on CNN’s travel editor Brekke Fletcher to take a trip to Scotland's a biggest island to experience its hospitality.

The Scottish island found itself at the top of a list which included Barcelona, India's Taj Mahal and even Mount Everest in an article highlighting a "tourist backlash" around the world. It followed claims of over overcrowding on the island after a surge in visitors last Summer.

Skye named in CNN list of ‘12 destinations to avoid in 2018’

It prompted an angry backlash from local business and tourism leaders who insisted that the island is open for businesses.

And Ms Forbes said today: “Seeing is believing and that is why I’ve invited the CNN Travel team to see Skye and the west Highlands for themselves.

“It is unrivalled, and is also creating hundreds of jobs.

Skye was named in CNN's 'places to avoid in 2018' list. Picture: Pixabay/Wikicommons

Skye was named in CNN's 'places to avoid in 2018' list. Picture: Pixabay/Wikicommons

“Visitors are welcome although they need to respect the natural environment and the people who live here year round.”

Read more: Skye could seek World Heritage status amid tourism boom
A major row broke out last year after media reports that police were advising tourists to stay away from the island. This was disputed by local officers who insisted they had only urged people visiting to show "common sense" after many visitors turned up without booking accommodation and found they were left with nowhere to stay.

“I understand that last year, the rapid growth in visitors meant there was pressure on key sites but that is because of the stunning scenery, delicious food and drink and warm welcome that awaits visitors," Ms Forbes added.

“The tourism industry, with all its pros and cons, employs a lot of people either directly or indirectly. In turn that supports local schools, local shops and local services.

"Therefore to turn visitors away undermines the very industry which supports so much of the local economy.”