NEW Government funding will help the region handle an influx of tourists this year as people prepare for another summer of staycations.
Droves of holidaymakers are expected to flock to Dumfries and Galloway in the coming months after ministers cast doubt on whether foreign trips would be given the green light due to emerging variants of Covid-19.
In anticipation, local nature hotspots are to receive a share of £2.75 million announced last week by the Scottish Government, which will be distributed through NatureScot’s Better Places Fund.
The funds will go towards hiring more seasonal rangers at nature reserves, building temporary toilets and improving parking and camping facilities across the region.
South Scotland MSP Emma Harper welcomed the cash boost, saying that whilst supporting the tourism sector, it will also help to tackle growing issues associated with an increase of visitors such as ‘dirty camping’ and fly tipping.
She said: “This year thousands of people will be rethinking their holiday plans and many will plan on coming to visit all that our stunning part of Scotland has to offer. So this investment from the Scottish Government to ensure there are enhanced services is very much welcome. This investment will also assist to address issues such as fly tipping and dirty camping which caused concern across Dumfries and Galloway last year.”
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing added: “Whilst for now the ‘stay at home’ message remains, we can all look forward to enjoying Scotland’s unmatched tourism offering when the sector restarts. As people flock back to our beautiful rural areas, we want to make sure these communities are ready to welcome back increased visitor numbers, especially as international travel may not be possible for some time yet.”