|Overnighting at Nairn Harbour|
Earlier this week we noticed the comments of David Richardson of the Federation of Small Business when he made reference to an article in the Scotsman that examined on the increasing numbers of visitors to the Highlands and Islands.
Interested in H&I tourism? Read this! Fascinating & deeply depressing, but omits key point: ageing demographic, declining nos of young people/families, and tourism only real game in town. Need Scottish policy rethink @north_highlands @st_alliance https://t.co/trvkWvZh0R— David Richardson FSB (@FSB_DRichardson) July 22, 2018
Here in Nairn perhaps we would still like to see a bit more of that tourism here and the nearest we perhaps get to mass impact is the nightly line of camper vans down at the harbour. Here, close to Inverness we are in a part of the Highlands with a more mixed economy and the options for employment extend beyond tourism for many. Witness the weekly advert from the carvan site operator Parkdean for a range of positions they seem unable to fill this year.
Again David Richardson is concerned about the inability of some businesses to recruit seasonal staff. on this matter he said on twitter “Has many implications, all of them negative.” And Chair of the Association of Nairn Businesses Michael Boylan, also on twitter, said:
“I'm of the opinion that seasonal workers and the ability to recruit, retain and house them is one of the Highland tourism industry's biggest risks. You can't maintain high service levels with less people in the service industry.”
On tourism matters too this week, John Finnie MSP was calling for a tourism tax such as you often have to pay in other countries. The tax would help fund local authority expenditure. I think a lot of Nairn folk would be very worried about getting their fair share of that spent in the area too. Would be a good idea perhaps if we had local accountability restored in the form of something resembling the former Nairn District Council?
Figures out last week revealed a huge increase in tourists visiting Scotland. The introduction of a tourist levy, as in commonplace on the continent, would help support local authorities to invest in infrastructure and important services for local communities and visitors. KH pic.twitter.com/lIFC2DzY05— John Finnie MSP (@JohnFinnieHI) July 23, 2018