Talks aim to drive up tourist trade

A NEW programme of discussions between council and tourism chiefs has been established in a bid to help drive the number of visitors to East Lothian up 50 per cent by 2015.

Councillors are set to hold biannual meetings with VisitScotland.

The first of the planned meetings was held last week between council leader Paul McLennan and VisitScotland's director of strategic partnerships, Riddell Graham, and Sinead Feltoe, regional director.

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Tourism employs 18 per cent of the workforce in the county and generates 200 million for the local economy.

Councillor McLennan said: "Given the importance of tourism to the local economy, it was important that one of my first meetings as council leader was with senior members of the national tourist agency for a full and frank discussion of how we can work productively together."