New tourism network for Scotland under fire

02 July 2004
New tourism network for Scotland under fire

The two-year review of the structure of Scotland's tourist board network has come in for strong criticism from members of the Scottish parliament.

Under the review, completed in March, Scotland's 14 area tourist boards are to be turned into local tourism "hubs" and brought under the wing of national tourist board VisitScotland.

In a report published today, the enterprise committee of the Scottish parliament said it was "surprised and disappointed at the great deal of uncertainty as to the structure that will replace the area tourist boards, and particularly the nature and role of local ‘hubs'."

It also criticised the absence of a membership structure and the lack of an accountable tie-in with local authorities, both of which the committee thought could put at risk the financial model of the new network.

It said: "There is a significant risk that the amount of funding available to support tourism through the new hubs will fall."

But the enterprise committee supported the move in principal, saying it had "the potential to create a more consistent and co-ordinated service to improve support for for tourism across Scotland".

The new structure is supposed to be in place by April 2005.

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