With Easter around the corner, the weather improving and Inverclyde preparing for the traditional start of the tourism season, VisitScotland Regional Director, Gordon Smith looks ahead to what we have to look forward to across the region and how to best to enjoy it.
“There is cautious optimism in the air across the local tourism industry just now. After a lot of uncertainty, the industry is preparing for what is hoped, for many, to be the first full year of trading since the pandemic.
It’s been a difficult few years, and while the current economic situation will bring some fresh challenges for all, there is a general desire from both visitors and businesses to return to some kind of normality.
It’s great to see people venturing out and supporting their local tourism businesses. While the return of international visitors will be important for the long-term recovery of the industry, people in Scotland still have a key role to play in helping businesses get back on their feet.
From top-class attractions, award-winning food and drink, exciting events, high quality accommodation providers and breath-taking scenery, tourism helps Inverclyde’s economy, worth over £40 million pre-pandemic. It attracts and creates jobs, sustains communities and enriches our lives.
One of the things I would urge everyone to do this year is to be a tourist in their area. There is no better way to understand the value of the industry and its appeal than to take in what’s on your doorstep.
This Easter you can enjoy the many activities on offer in Gourock Park, Finlaystone Country Estate, Ardgowan House, Castle & Gardens, whether on foot, two wheels or on water with the many options available along the River Clyde.
Tourism brings many benefits which is why its responsible recovery is so important. But things can’t and won’t be exactly as before. Tourism is evolving. It’s about more than travel. It’s about building forward and creating better places for people to live and visit by managing our economic, environmental and social impact.
We all have a duty of care to protect the natural, social and cultural assets which make Inverclyde so special.
VisitScotland want to make sure we help people know what to expect before they explore Scotland so look out for our new campaign – across local radio and online. In it we will offer some great advice about how to keep Scotland unspoiled when out and about. This dedicated activity supports wider work by VisitScotland and our partners to address irresponsible behaviour at some local areas.
We really want visitors to ‘know before they go’ when it comes to travel; checking what is open and how busy places are before they make a trip but also encourage them to think about things like water safety, littering, camping and following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Being a responsible tourist and respecting and protecting our environment and communities makes for a better experience for everyone.