Scotland does NOT endure from “overtourism” – claims Scottish tourism chief

One of many Scottish tourism business’s main figureheads has denied the nation has an “overtourism” disaster regardless of rising congestion issues.

Marc Crothall, chief govt of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, mentioned it was unfair for the nation to be in contrast with a few of the world’s world tourism hotspots.

Crothall insisted Scotland solely had a handful of “strain factors,” such because the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh metropolis centre, which didn’t trigger year-round points.

However he admitted there was a necessity for motion to make sure a greater geographical unfold of holiday makers and encourage guests to come back to Scotland outwith the height intervals.

Edinburgh was named alongside Amsterdam, Rome, Venice and Barcelona in a league desk of well-known locations “that may now not deal with their very own reputation” earlier this 12 months.

CNN Journey cited “the strain of big numbers descending on the town centre” in August for the annual Edinburgh festivals and the expansion within the short-term letting market driving up rents for “regular folks”.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian College have launched analysis into the “dramatic adjustments” the tourism business has had on Skye in recent times, with greater than 500,000 guests flocking there every year.

Different locations which have skilled issues embrace Glenfinnan and Glencoe because of their hyperlinks with Harry Potter and Outlander, whereas the North Coast 500 route is alleged to have turned distant Highland roads right into a “mini Grand Prix” circuit for drivers in Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

Nonetheless, Crothall mentioned: “We don’t have overtourism in Scotland. Some folks prefer to discuss with it as overtourism, however it isn’t. We have now strain factors at sure instances of the 12 months. For those who have a look at the worldwide locations which can be reported to have overtourism they’ve year-round pressures.

“For those who have a look at the Isle of Skye, lots of people level to locations just like the Fairy Swimming pools and The Previous Man of Storr, and it’s proper that there’s funding in infrastructure, however it’s a massive place and it isn’t full.

“It’s the identical with Edinburgh. It’s a massive metropolis with quite a bit occurring and there are pressures at sure instances of the 12 months. However it’s about being intelligent and managing them.

“We have now some strain factors, but it surely’s about being extra accountable in how we goal and handle the movement of vacationers into Scotland in a more practical approach. There’s a nice marketing campaign now known as Skye Time, which is about encouraging guests to remain longer and do much less on the island, however truly expertise extra. There’s nonetheless an inclination amongst some travellers, notably amongst our rising markets, to tick a field after which transfer on to the following vacation spot. We have to take extra management, curate itineraries and affect the behaviour of individuals with new expertise.

“It’s about attempting to draw the suitable guests to numerous elements of the nation at totally different instances of the 12 months to permit a larger unfold of holiday makers and permit companies to create extra employment alternatives and develop extra year-round exercise.”