Tourism boost helps bring jobs to area

The Kelpies and the Helix are a big draw for all ages come rain or shine
The Kelpies and the Helix are a big draw for all ages come rain or shine

Hundreds of new jobs have been created in Falkirk over the last few years thanks to the area’s status as a popular tourist attraction.

Members of Falkirk Council’s executive committee heard tourism was responsible for bringing in £105.7 million to the local economy in 2015 – a 45 per cent increase on the 2009 figure of £72.7 million.

Official statistics show 1675 full-time equivalent jobs were involved in the tourism sector in the Falkirk area in 2009 and this increased to 1920 in the last couple of years – a rise of more than 14 per cent.

Rhona Geisler, director of development services, said: “Tourism in the Falkirk area is continuing to grow and it is becoming an increasingly important sector within the area’s economy.”

The council is working with partners to attract new money from VisitScotland’s Growth Fund to run a campaign to attract visitors from further afield, particularly northern England and Yorkshire.

Local attractions in the Falkirk area have seen significant increases in visitor numbers in recent years – The Falkirk Wheel recorded 595,750 visitors in 2015, up from 414,386 in 2012, while The Helix and the Kelpies recorded 952,506 visitors in 2014 and 742,575 in 2015.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the council’s tourism spokesperson, said: “We’re working hard to make the Falkirk area a great destination. I’m delighted more and more people are visiting, spending money in the local economy and creating jobs in the tourism sector.”