A record number of tourists will travel to Scotland this summer, with the Scottish Government predicting a record loss of 6 per cent.
The Tourism Council of Scotland said it was concerned by the prospect of a fall in the number of people travelling to Scotland, with its projections of a 3 per cent fall in tourism this summer.
However, the council’s chief executive Simon O’Brien said tourism was forecast to rise by 3 per 100 people over the coming five years, which is a significant increase from the 6 per 100 predicted in 2017.
He said tourism would be up to 4.5 per cent higher than forecast in 2018.
“The projected tourism growth of 5.5 to 6 per of all households will be very welcome and provide hope that Scotland can continue to provide a welcoming and cosmopolitan environment for visitors,” Mr O’Brian said.
“However, we are also concerned about the impact on our tourism infrastructure and we expect there to be significant changes to our visitor facilities.”
Scotlands tourism director, Neil Dolan, said: “Our forecast for tourism in Scotland is now down to just 3 per day.”
It’s really unfortunate and it shows that there is still a significant amount of uncertainty in the tourism sector.
“We are seeing that our tourist sector is not in a good position to withstand the impacts of the uncertainty.”
Our tourism forecast for 2018 is the lowest we’ve seen in many years.
“A new round of the Eurovision Song Contest is due to start on July 17 in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
Scotland is also due to host the second round of Eurovision in 2021.
In a bid to improve tourism, Mr Obert said the Government was taking action to help businesses that were facing financial difficulties.”
As a result of the changes to the European Investment Bank, the Government has committed to investing in Scotland’s infrastructure and supporting the development of Scottish companies,” he said.
Mr Obert warned that while Scotland’s economy was growing, there was still a long way to go.”
While we have a number of positive developments this year, it is not enough.
We need to see a continued improvement in the quality of Scotland’s tourism,” he added.
Scotland’s tourism industry is worth £2.4bn, of which more than a third is spent in the tourist industry.
Scotlands minister for tourism, tourism and leisure, Joanna Cherry, said tourism had grown at a healthy rate in recent years and was a key component of the economy.”
People want to go to Scotland to experience a culture that has been here for so long, which has been recognised by our international reputation, and that’s what tourism is all about,” she said.