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Summer visitors boom

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By Fiona Reid
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Summer visitors boom

HOLIDAYMAKERS are expected to head to Dumfries and Galloway in their droves this summer.

Campsites and self caterers in the region are already reporting 100 per cent occupancy for June through to August.

But the increase in visitors is likely to start next week when more covid restrictions are eased and then ramp up as the year goes on.

Officials at Dumfries and Galloway Council are gearing up for a busy period and councillors were yesterday told there is expected to be a ‘significant increase’ in visitors.

Wellbeing manager Lee Seton said: “An increase in visitor footfall is anticipated. We know from forward projections that we are in for a very busy period.

“That presents us with challenges and a huge opportunity for the future economy of the region.”

He revealed the council will be carrying out more ‘streetscene’ work to support the summer rush, including extra litter clearing and maintaining public spaces; public toilets will have longer opening hours and enhanced cleaning; and the community safety team will carry out patrols to known hot-spots, providing advice and reassurance to the public, reinforcing the outdoor access code and challenging inappropriate behaviour.

There will also be extra money to support additional cleaning and demand at the council owned caravan sites in Lochside in Castle Douglas and at Kirk Loch in Lochmaben.

Learning from ‘challenges’ in 2020, this year there will be temporary toilets on standby for use, as well as additional rubbish bins, while local organisations are being encouraged to consider opening up their community buildings for visitor use.

In addition, Forestry and Land Scotland have taken on four new rangers for the region in preparation for the summer.

Communities director Derek Crichton said: “We are absolutely geared up to be ready to welcome visitors

from within the region and from outwith.”

And Mr Seton said a public consultation has found that most communities in the area are ‘excited, positive and enthusiastic’ about the summer season, but some are also ‘nervous, apprehensive and uncertain’, with common concerns over the impacts of wild camping, toilets, litter and signage.

Cllr Andy Ferguson expressed hopes that tourists will be responsible and said: “We need to get clear messaging out there that they are welcome but they are welcome if they behave.”

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