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Our tourism industry needs urgent support, says Jamie Stone


By Alan Hendry

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Dunnet Bay caravan site is among the many popular tourism sites across the north that have been closed since the Covid-19 outbreak. Alan Hendry
Dunnet Bay caravan site is among the many popular tourism sites across the north that have been closed since the Covid-19 outbreak. Alan Hendry

North MP Jamie Stone has insisted the tourism industry needs urgent support from the UK Government.

He was speaking after signing a cross-party motion tabled by his fellow Liberal Democrat Tim Farron calling for a 12-month financial aid package for the tourism and hospitality sector.

This would allow the industry to be "properly supported" through this year's low season.

According to research by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) – which uses datasets published by the Office for National Statistics – the Highland local authority area is among those most at risk in the UK of having its economy suffer as a result of Covid-19.

It was ranked 31st out of 370 local authority areas UK-wide.

After signing the motion, Mr Stone, the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said: “It may well be that businesses will not be able to reopen until the autumn, just when the industry's low season begins. Our tourism industry needs urgent support to tide it over until next spring.

“I have made no secret of my feelings toward holidaymakers continuing to come to the Highlands, despite the risk it poses. However, I have always said that once all this is over we will welcome holidaymakers back with open arms.

"The figures published by the RSA are devastating. Obviously I want to keep my constituents safe, but I also want us to come back to a thriving tourism and hospitality industry – the kind that keeps our economy alive in the Highlands.

"That's why I am working with my colleague Tim Farron to demand that the UK Government produce a tailored economic support package for hospitality businesses in the far north."


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