Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP has announced that the SNP Government is allocating another £400,000 to the Coig tourism project.
This follows the £300,000 investment it made earlier this year, adding up to a total investment of £0.7 million since 2018 for routes giving visitors the chance to enjoy the area’s islands, coastal landscapes, harbours and beaches.
The funding is part of a multi-million pound package of measures announced in the Programme for Government 2019/20 to help support Scotland’s world-class tourism industry.
The sector is an important part of the Scottish economy, employing more than 200,000 workers and hosting millions of visitors every year from all over the world.
Amid increasing costs and the ongoing threat of leaving the European Union, the SNP Government has announced it will work with the industry to help it to continue to deliver high-quality, value-for-money and memorable experiences across the country, and supporting the growth of a skilled workforce.
Specific commitments from the Programme for Government 2019/20 regarding tourism include:
The launch of a Scottish UNESCO digital trail, providing an online experience featuring all of Scotland’s UNESCO sites;
The introduction of an Islands Passport early next year to further encourage visitors to more of Scotland’s inhabited islands;
An additional £3 million in 2020/21 to continue the highly successful Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, enhancing the visitor experience at our iconic rural and island tourist sites and taking our total investment to £9 million over three years.
The SNP Government is also set to develop an action plan to support repopulation of our rural and island communities and work with partners to test approaches using small scale pilots in rural Scotland.
The ‘Stay in Scotland’ campaign will work with rural businesses and industries to promote it to employees and we will showcase Scotland as a desirable place to work and live to recruitment agencies at home and overseas.
Ms Hyslop said:
“Our tourism industry is of crucial importance to the Scottish economy.
“We are committed to working with the sector to support them through this uncertain time and ensure that they can continue to offer high-quality experiences for visitors while minimising the impact on the environment and the lives of those who live here all year round.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
“I welcome the SNP Government’s commitment to tourism in North Ayrshire in the form of what is now a £0.7 million contribution to the Coig. The word Coig is Gaelic for “five” as it will be a collection of five tourism trails across Ayrshire, the Firth of Clyde and the islands of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae.
“Another commitment I am excited about is the repopulation action plan for our rural and island communities. I have raised the issue of depopulation in Parliament on multiple occasions and am pleased that the SNP Government recognises that we need to sustain our rural and island communities and help them thrive. I look forward to progress in the months and years ahead.”