Highlands and Islands MSP Mike Mackenzie has said that more can be done to boost Argyll’s tourism industry – one of the mainstays of the local economy.
Mr Mackenzie is undertaking a series of short trips to explore the potential of Argyll’s heritage, and find out how we can make much more of it.
The SNP MSP said: “Argyll is dripping with heritage. As the only part of the Highlands and Islands losing population, Argyll and Bute badly needs to boost its economy. Our heritage is one of our principal assets and one means by which we can revitalise our tourism industry, one of the mainstays of the local economy.”
Mr Mackenzie emphasized that lessons must be learned from areas across the Highlands and Islands which have capitalised on their heritage to the benefit of the local economy.
He said: “For example – Orkney Islands Council put its corporate muscle firmly behind its heritage sector and it is largely thanks to this support that Orkney is the UK’s top cruise ship destination. The contribution to the local economy is very significant.
“Heritage is important for its own sake. It should be preserved and the knowledge of our heritage and where we have come from passed down to future generations, but it can also be a powerful driver of the local economy. It needs public sector support, not least because the lion’s share of the value it creates will not flow through the tills of these visitor attractions themselves, but will instead give a much needed boost to a host of other businesses from restaurants and hotels to local shops and pubs.”