South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway tourism number levels 'much better'

No vacancies sign Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Some businesses have reported a 20% increase in trade this summer

A tourism chief in south west Scotland has said accommodation providers and visitor attractions have reported an upturn in trade this summer.

Gordon Mann, who chairs Destination Dumfries and Galloway, said levels were "much better" than in recent years.

Tourism has been estimated to be worth about £287m to the local economy and supports about 7,000 jobs.

Mr Mann said the increase had to be seen in context of low tourist figures and spending in previous years.

"By and large the visitor numbers are looking much better," he said.

"We have even had people talking about 15% or even in some cases 20% increases.

"That sounds great but remember we are coming from a very low base."

'Good step'

He said that figures had fallen steadily over the previous five years.

"2008 is the point at which the financial crash came and we have seen numbers reduce year on year since then," he said.

"It will take us some time to get back to the kind of numbers that we were at before but this is a good step."

Mr Mann added that there were signs that the market was adjusting to people having reduced family incomes and being more careful with their spending.

He said visitors were looking for "value" and that was what both accommodation providers and attractions were trying to offer.

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