Thursday, June 20, 2019
The skye times mobile

A major new study will assess the impact of tourism on the Isle of Skye.

The island attracts more than 500,000 tourists a year.

The survey will be carried out by researchers from the Glasgow Caledonian University and will address concerns and challenges posed by the growth in visitors.

It is hoped that the findings will help shape a tourism master-plan for the island for the next 10 years.

Experts from GCU’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism will examine the impact the surge in numbers has had on the island’s employment and the wider economy.

Researchers will also provide the first detailed breakdown of visitor spending behaviour, nationality, tourist activities and motivation to travel.

Thousands of people will take part in the survey, which has been commissioned by SkyeConnect, the island's official destination-management organisation.

Residents, accommodation providers, activity operators, restauranteurs, shop owners, and outdoor activity providers, are amongst those who will take part into the study, which will also look at the impact on the local transport infrastructure.

Marina Martinolli, Research Project Manager at the Moffat Centre, said: “The island was traditionally viewed as a walking or outdoor activity destination but with the opening of the Skye bridge making the island more accessible, this has changed dramatically.

“Alongside Edinburgh, Skye is now Scotland’s most iconic visitor destination.

“A number of local residents have already been in touch to say they want to get involved.

“We hope anyone with an interest in the economy of Skye will assist our researchers in carrying out this important study.”

Researchers will quiz visitors at areas including Dunvegan Castle, Kyleakin, Uig, Armadale, Broadford and Portree town centre. The results will be showcased at a public event in early 2020.

Alistair Danter, project manager for SkyeConnect, said: “As a destination management organisation, we need to have a detailed understanding of visitors, their views, their behaviours and their impact on the whole of Skye – not just the tourism sector.

“The results will allow us to shape the strategy for tourism development on the island for the next decade."

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