The Outer Hebrides Tourism sector provides welcome benefits to the islands and many communities and businesses rely on the industry to remain sustainable and prosper.
Consequently, local tourism infrastructure needs to be able to cope with the demand and changing needs, therefore Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, part funded by VisitScotland’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) have commissioned a Plan to identify the sectors immediate and future needs and wants.
The data gathered will inform and support future strategies and funding programmes – especially RTIF grant applications - of what requires to be developed and how, therefore it is imperative that as many businesses and communities contribute their views and needs.
The public are urged to complete the online survey (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) to allow them to convey their views, consider the status of the local tourism facilities and identify which tourism pressures should be reviewed in specific areas.
Local consultant Duncan MacPherson, who is undertaking the brief in partnership with Fraser Architecture, stated that ‘Work is continuing to develop an Outer Hebrides Visitor Infrastructure Plan which will support funding applications for investment in new tourism facilities in the coming years. The survey is open to individuals, businesses, and community organisations to express their views and enables users to focus their answers on specific island areas. Over 120 people have accessed the survey so far but the more people who complete the survey, the stronger the case that can be made to the Scottish Government and other bodies for future tourism infrastructure investment.”
Cllr Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Sustainable Development Committee, said: ‘The Comhairle welcomes the opportunity to hear local businesses and communities views on their tourism facilities and needs to ensure both visitors and communities can both enjoy the surrounding areas, beaches, and attractions. The results will provide a basis for future RTIF grant applications and therefore we need to hear and know what is required.’
Whilst a number of engagement events have already taken place there will also be a further opportunity to meet with the consultants and express your views at an online meeting at 7.30pm on the 28th June 2022. Further information on accessing this event will be advertised closer to the time.