MORAY WILL SEE an investment of over £127million spread over the next three years thanks to a joint initiative between VisitScotland and key local and national partners.
The investment has been revealed through an updated Tourism Development Framework, which was first published in 2013 and aims to highlight the importance of the visitor economy within wider investment and infrastructure plans of local and national agencies.
The Framework is closely aligned to and supports the contributions of the industry-led “Tourism Scotland 2020” strategy, with the £127 million figure for Moray representing overall public and private sector investment in major infrastructure projects. These are being delivered across the region and are expected to have an impact on the visitor economy and support tourism growth.
Key projects in Moray include the Cullen Hotel’s extension refurbishment, redevelopment of the Macallan Distillery, Dava Way walking trail improvement, the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project in Elgin, Gordon Castle’s Garden Maze and the Tomintoul and Glenlivet regeneration masterplan.
The total amount of investment, across Scotland in the next three years, is estimated to be over £16 billion.
VisitScotland research has found that cars are the most popular mode of transport used by domestic visitors to Scotland. On average, there were 8.2 million domestic trips to Scotland by car each year from 2006 up to 2014.
In addition, the use of trains to Scotland has increased since the economic downturn, with on average of 1.6 million domestic trips to Scotland each year up to 2014.
Digital investment worth £486 million is also outlined within the Framework, including plans to deliver fibre broadband access to at least 95% of premises in Scotland by the end of 2017.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, said: “Tourism is one of Scotland’s most important industries with its benefits and impacts reaching many other sectors of the Scottish economy.
“The Tourism Development Framework has identified £16billion of major projects being delivered across Scotland that will have a positive impact for our visitors, ensuring they can be better connected and have the best possible experience while they’re here – with clear benefits for the visitor economy.”
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “The visitor economy in Moray causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the region.
“Realising its growth potential to 2020 through the planning system is an important opportunity to grasp, especially in our challenging economic climate. This National Tourism Development Framework refresh sets out actions to support sustainable growth in the visitor economy to 2020.
“The Framework focuses on every single part of the visitor journey from arrival to departure. Good internet connectivity, smooth roads, informative signage and urban improvement projects are just a few of the hugely important pieces that join together to ensure our visitors have the best experience possible while in Scotland.
“We are excited by the level of investment in Moray’s tourism future and aim to ensure this close co-ordination of local authorities, planners and partners continues, creating real opportunities and benefits for many years to come.”