Draft Sutherland Tourism Infrastructure Plan discussed at Committee
5th November 2020
At today's (5 November 2020) meeting of Sutherland County Committee, Members discussed a draft Sutherland Tourism Infrastructure Plan to identify current and possible gaps in provision of tourism infrastructure in the area.
Members of The Highland Council's Tourism Working Group had previously tasked officers with the production of a Highland Tourism Infrastructure Plan which would provide a simple audit of relevant tourism infrastructure across the region and would allow gaps in provision to be identified. A draft audit was subsequently produced and presented to the Council's Tourism Committee on 14 October 2020.
Sutherland Members also discussed the benefits of having a plan which was focused at a local level. Therefore, the Sutherland elements of the Highland plan were extracted to create a draft Sutherland Tourism Infrastructure Plan to help identify current provision and possible gaps which were more relevant to the local communities in the area.
The types of infrastructure considered to be particularly relevant for visitors to Sutherland were identified as parking, electric vehicle charge points, public toilets, motorhome waste disposal facilities, public WI-FI services, and paths and trails.
Chair of Sutherland County Committee, Councillor Richard Gale, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us in many ways, one of which is our tourism infrastructure. With the rise of visitors on ‘staycations’ over the summer period, and Covid-19 restrictions limiting our capacity for facilities and to deliver services, we have been able to highlight where gaps in our tourism infrastructure exist.
Looking towards the future, we need to begin our work in closing these gaps so we can prepare for future families to continue to enjoy what we have to offer here in Sutherland for the years to come. This plan will help to form the basis our initial discussions and focus on key areas where we can make improvements."