Saturday, November 30, 2013

Highland Council Nairn tourism report is certainly not Rosemary's baby

For Gurnites Rosemary Young will need no introduction, for anyone just passing by however, here is a bit of profile: she has been involved in the tourism industry locally for a considerable time, she is an active Rotarian, having held the high heid yin post in the Nairn branch of that august organisation. She has street cred too for direct action see this article here. She was also instrumental in the massive peaceful protest that influenced a “seismic” planning decision by Highland Council (images here).  She is the chair of Nairn West CC and when
you will have had the pleasure of seeing her sitting at joint CC meetings along with Tommy Hogg and Dick Youngson, of River and Suburban CCs respectively, at the top table, then you will have witnessed a formidable fighting team doing their best for the interests of Nairn. Rosemary has given the Gurn her thoughts on a tourism paper that the Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey committee will be discussing next week. Some gurnites have already given their thoughts in the comments section  on this article here. 

Anyway Gurnshire, this is what Rosemary told us:

"Once again we are being subjected to a long paper from Tourism HC to instruct it seems (although some sentences need to be read several times over to get the sense) our new group with Team Leader to look at tourism.
Well it’s just too late to start thinking about it all.  What needs to happen is highlighted below in five items. We don't need interfering council officials telling us about tourism because they don't know as much as we who are actively involved in it.  For twenty years now I have thrown myself into tourism in this town and it is a thriving industry and could in fact be even more successful with very little effort.  Now is the time to stop the rhetoric and the consultations, let alone the charrettes, workshops and blue sky thinkings. We know what tourists want:

A good place to stay
A good place to eat
A good place to play

We have all those in abundance in this town but what we don't have is the following and these are the things which are most often pointed out to us by our visitors and this is what they say:

Town Centre looks dreadful
Traffic lights gridlocked us
Lovely buildings look dilapidated and derelict
Harbour could look a whole lot better
You need a fully functioning tourist information centre

I add the last one with some reservation as the Community and Arts Centre have done amazing work for the tourism industry but they are wholly underfunded.
Just a few thoughts from a tourism and hospitality person at the coal face.  Elected councillors take note and use what funds we have to do the list and not keep talking about the list".  Read the report here. 

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