A SERIES of meetings are to take place to identify and find solutions to the pressures on the Isle of Skye caused by increases in tourism on the island.
Many hotels are already claiming to fully booked for the summer.
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The Cuillins, on the Isle of Skye. Picture: Jon Savage
Constituency MSP Kate Forbes has organised the first meeting in June in a bid to gather expertise from across Scotland, as the first step in a process to make it easier for businesses and residents on the island to cope with growing numbers of visitors.
It is hoped that the second of the series of discussions, which will review the summer’s activities, will take place in September.
The MSP said: “As the summer heats up – and the sun actually shines – hotels have told me that they’re already full.
“This year is going to be just as busy, if not busier, than last year.
“The question for all of us is how we capitalise on the surge in tourism, rather than collapse under the pressures on infrastructure and amenities.
“Whilst Skye is particularly popular, other parts of the Highlands are also facing challenges too.
The Skye politician added: “In the next few weeks, I will host the first of two discussions, one before and one after the busiest months of the season.
“I have invited representatives from other parts of Scotland who have also faced a surge in tourism.
“These representatives will outline how they organised themselves to find solutions to the local challenges and capitalise on the enormous boost to the local economy.
“The purpose of these two meetings is to see if there are things we can learn from other places in Scotland and so turn tourism into an opportunity, rather than a challenge.
“Of course, there is a lot to do and no discussion will prove to be the magic wand to solve all the problems. But if other places can do it, then so can we.”