Local MSP Calls on Highland Communities to Work Together Before 15 July

Kate Forbes MSP (pictured) has urged tourism businesses and organisations across the Highlands to engage with their respective local communities ahead of the potential reopening of the tourism industry next month.

Subject to the R rate remaining at a satisfactory level, the Scottish Government has said the industry can start to reopen on 15 July 2020 – with sufficient social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Ms Forbes has many tourist hotspots in her constituency such as Loch Ness, the Fairy Pools on Skye, Loch Morlich near Aviemore, Rosemarkie beach on the Black Isle, and the Glenfinnan viaduct in Lochaber.

Kate Forbes MSP said:

“Now that the Scottish Government has published its route map and given a conditional date of 15 July for the tourism industry to start reopening, it is incumbent on all of us to work together.

“I would like to see tourism businesses and organisations engaging with local communities who might have questions about what it means for them, and vice versa.

“I know that people have questions about how the rural economy slowly starts to ease out of lockdown, and tourism has always been the lifeblood of the Highlands and Islands.

“I have discussed this with the Scottish Tourism Alliance also, who recognise the importance of working with local communities and supporting guidance that offers reassurance.

“There are good examples in places like Fort Augustus, where local businesses have consciously and intentionally engaged with the local community to discuss how everybody will work together.

“It would be good to see that mirrored elsewhere.

“The Chambers of Commerce have done an exceptional job in engaging with Government and keeping their business members informed.

“Now is an opportunity to reach out to local people and share, in a transparent way, how rural communities will work together.

“We are all in this together.”