VisitScotland (Website)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 18 June 2013.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

VisitScotland did not express any view on the importance or otherwise of any of the events. The information is not meant to be an extensive history lesson—giving that is not the role of VisitScotland or its website. The attempt by Opposition politicians to infer from a series of facts that are set out on a website that there is party-political bias just does not stack up. Were we in a court of law, Mr Fraser would be prevented from making any submission to that effect. Oh that we were in a court of law but, sadly, that is not to be.

There are serious matters that currently affect tourism. There is the level of tax that is imposed in Scotland. Fuel duty is about 40p higher than in Mediterranean countries, and there is the air passenger duty that is imposed by the Conservative-Liberal coalition, which has a very damaging impact on tourism. There is also the level of VAT, which is the second or third highest in Europe. If Mr Fraser wanted to ask about those issues, he would at least be expressing concerns that I heard about yesterday evening from members of the Federation of Small Businesses in Inverness who work in tourism. Nobody outside the chamber has mentioned this matter to me. I have not had a letter from Patricia Ferguson about it or any correspondence, emails or even tweets about it. I have had nothing whatsoever, except from members of the Opposition parties in the chamber. That says it all.