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

Skye has been branded a destination to avoid by CNN
Skye has been branded a destination to avoid by CNN
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Skye has been handed the unwelcome tag of one of the top 12 global tourists destinations to avoid this summer by US broadcaster CNN.

But the claims came under fire from local politicians who insist the island is "open for business."

The Scottish island finds itself at the top of a list which includes Barcelona, India's Taj Mahal and even Mount Everest in an article highlighting a "tourist backlash" around the world.

It states that the infrastructure of Scotland's largest island "creaked under the pressure" last year as thousands of tourists in coaches and cars plied its narrow lanes resulting in widespread snarl-ups

"Eventually the residents of beautiful Skye said enough was enough after complaints of noise, overcrowding and even visitors urinating in public," CNN claimed.

Read more: 4 hidden tourism gems on the Isle of Skye
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.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes hit back at the CNN claims yesterday and insisted that the island is definitely open for business.

“I fundamentally disagree with CNN’s list of places to avoid because Skye is definitely open for business," Ms Forbes said.

“Last summer attracted thousands of visitors to the island because of its beauty, delicious food and drink and warm welcome.

“I know that there are businesses throughout the island that are preparing for another season."

Read more: Skye could seek World Heritage status amid tourism boom
Tourism has long been a cornerstone of the local economy and any move to discourage visitors could hit the local economy.

Ms Forbes added: “Tourism employs hundreds of local residents, enables local entrepreneurs and keeps the economy ticking over.

“There is a lot of work ongoing over the winter months to ensure that there is more parking available at key sites. All are warmly welcome.

“I can also recommend a number of fabulous sites across the Highlands – the Ardnamurchan peninsula, Badenoch and Strathspey and Dingwall and the Black Isle.”

A VisitScotland spokesman said: “We’re concerned that Skye has been highlighted as a destination to avoid in 2018 and the effect this may have on potential visitors to the region when, far from being avoided, it should be embraced by our international travellers. Infrastructure improvements are set to take place this year and we are continuing to work with partners to help grow the sector in a sustainable way. Pre-booking is essential for any popular world-class destination and we would encourage visitors to Skye to do so and also consider exploring this beautiful part of the world at all times of the year.”