Tourism (Rutherglen)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd May 2018.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

3. To ask the Scottish Government how it supports the promotion of tourism in Rutherglen constituency. (S5O-02049)

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government fully recognises the importance of tourism to the economy and endeavours to promote tourism across the whole of Scotland. We appreciate that Rutherglen, like all constituencies, possesses its own unique attractions, including its magnificent town hall, a VisitScotland five-star-rated arts venue, which plays an important role as a visitor information partner in the iKnow Scotland scheme. VisitScotland will continue to work with local authorities, destination management organisations and businesses to ensure that each of Scotland’s destinations is well positioned to offer an exciting and enjoyable experience to tourists.

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

The minister will be aware of some of the fantastic tourist attractions in my constituency, ranging from the urban park of Cuningar Loop to the David Livingstone Centre, the historic buildings, parks and cycle trails and the place where William Wallace was betrayed, to name but a few. VisitLanarkshire and VisitScotland poorly serve my constituency, often misaddressing venues as being in Glasgow or not promoting local amenities and, instead, directing tourists elsewhere in the area. Will the minister give an assurance that the Scottish Government will liaise with those agencies, so that opportunities for tourism and attracting visitors to my constituency are not missed?

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Although many of those are operational matters for VisitScotland, I recognise the points that the member is making.

VisitScotland is committed to serving the whole of Scotland and we want to ensure that its work is efficient and accurate. It should be said that the information that is available on the VisitScotland website is often provided by businesses, which may choose to self-identify as Glasgow businesses. However, I understand the member’s concerns and I will ask Scottish Government officials to raise those concerns as part of their regular engagement with VisitScotland.

Photo of Rachael Hamilton Rachael Hamilton Conservative

I am sure that the minister recognises that culture is a driver of tourism. On that note, would the minister agree with me that we should do more to see regions appoint cultural ambassadors who can play key roles in supporting and promoting tourism throughout Scotland?

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Certainly, communities and ambassadors for communities have a major role to play in supporting and promoting communities, as the member says. For instance,

VisitScotland now has information partnerships throughout Scotland and I am sure that there are many in the constituency that the member represents. We are keen at all times to look at new ways of ensuring that these measures are successful.