Highlands & Islands

Skye needs 30-year tourism strategy, say islanders

Isle of Skye
Image caption Skye is Scotland's second most popular destination after Edinburgh say islanders

Skye "requires a strategy" to help islanders cope with their isle's increased popularity with tourists.

Businesses on the island say they want people to be able to enjoy Skye without them putting additional pressures on the landscape and services.

There is a fundraising campaign in one part of Skye to improve car parking and new shuttle bus services elsewhere.

But Rob Ware, secretary of tourism group Skyeconnect, said the isle needs a strategy looking ahead 30 years.

He told BBC Scotland: "We don't want to turn Skye into Disneyland, but I think there has to be an overall tourism strategy that looks 10, 20 even 30 years ahead."

Mr Ware said the island was Scotland's second most popular tourist destination after Edinburgh.

Image copyright Staffin Community Trust
Image caption Staffin Community Trust is among groups on the island seeking to ease congestion at the island's beauty spots

Another islander, Richard Powell, has launched a community fundraising campaign to extend parking facilities in Glenbrittle.

A beauty spot called the Fairy Pools is near Glenbrittle and attracts hundreds of visitors.

Mr Powell said: "For the residents down in Glenbrittle life is pretty much a nightmare most of the year now."

He said the volume of traffic on the road and people parking on the roadside made it a "struggle" for residents to get in or out of their homes and to receive deliveries.

Other communities on Skye are also trying to resolve parking problems, including Staffin Community Trust which has plans to increase spaces available to people visiting the Old Man of Storr.

But there are also pressures on other facilities.

Last week, islanders demanded greater availability of public toilets after complaints some visitors to the isle are relieving themselves outside.

There have been incidents reported at scenic spots where public conveniences are lacking or have been closed down.

In Uig, where many of the complaints have been raised, the local authority-run toilets have been out of order since the beginning of the year.

Highland Council said it was seeking quotes for the repair work needed.

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