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‘This is critical for our future’: Kate Forbes takes on new ambassador role to promote sustainable tourism

The former finance secretary wants to make the Highlands attractive to visitors and businesses.

Yvonne Crook, chair of Highland Tourism CIC and MSP Kate Forbes who is an ambassador with the company
Yvonne Crook, chair of Highland Tourism CIC and MSP Kate Forbes who is an ambassador with the company

Highland MSP Kate Forbes is to champion efforts to make the region a world leading sustainable destination.

The former finance secretary and SNP leadership candidate has become an ambassador for the Highland Tourism community interest company (CIC) to promote its green ambitions.

She will work with the CIC to host a roadshow with business and community leaders to discuss ways to ensure the area becomes an exemplar in sustainable development and conscious travel.

A vital sector for the Highlands and Scotland

Ms Forbes said: “Tourism is a vital sector for Scotland and particularly the Highland region.

“Highland Tourism CIC’s approach, which is community-driven and has private sector investment and buy-in, makes economic and cultural sense.

“I believe they will get things done, creating immediate and long-term positive impact.

“I will do all I can to support Highland Tourism’s ambitions to make significant investment in tourism development for the region and have proposed a series of meetings with business leaders to explore how we can work more closely in the region to make the Highlands attractive to visitors and businesses from around the world.

“I am particularly interested in the role Highland Tourism CIC can play to present the Highlands as a better place to live, work, visit, study and invest.

“This is critical for our future.”

Highland Tourism CIC says having Kate Forbes as an ambassador is a huge boost to their efforts. Image: Jane Barlow/PA.

HTCIC was formed in 2020 and aims to create a premium environmental tourism brand.

Its recent recruits include former Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Charlotte Wright as secretary.

Earlier this month the CIC launched the first online food and drink directory for the Highlands to help the hospitality sector post pandemic.

Chair Yvonne Crook welcomed Kate Forbes’ role as a new ambassador.

“This is a huge boost to our efforts, to have such a hard-working and knowledgeable MSP providing her support.

“Kate has encouraged our work since the very early days and has made a number of fantastic suggestions for progress.

“To have her join our ambassadors underlines the fact that we are here to stay and that we have significant potential value to offer the tourism sector and the Highlands as both a brand and a destination.

Enhancing communities, economy and environment

“We are working to unite all key stakeholders and Highland brands behind a regenerative tourism strategy that will enhance our communities, our economy and our environment.”

CIC director Chris O’Brien, managing director of Nevis Range, said the organisation’s ambassadors believe there is a more sustainable way for tourism to work.

“Premium environmental brand Highlands will enable us to attract higher value visitors and invest more in climate change and nature crisis, both financially and through our businesses and visitors contributions.

“We are delighted our ambassador network is now hugely enhanced with Kate’s agreement to give us her support.”

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