Falkirk’s in a prime position for tourists

Visit Scotland chairman Mike Cantley
Visit Scotland chairman Mike Cantley

Falkirk remains a great example of everything that is positive in Scottish tourism today.

Visit Scotland chairman Mike Cantlay believes visitors to the area would have a great time and enjoy its close connections with major cities.

Speaking to The Falkirk Herald last week, Mr Cantlay was delighted to see new figures reveal tourism to be one of the most resilient businesses in the Scottish economy.

And he said Falkirk people should be proud of that fact as the area had been a part of the success.

He added: “I would defy anyone to go to The Falkirk Wheel or Callendar Park and not have a great time.

“The recent Scottish tourism figures are excellent, but we can’t be complacent.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone recently, no-one has found it easy.

“But tourism is still the biggest industry in Scotland by far. It employs 270,000 people and is worth £11 billion.

“The Scottish market is up six per cent on last year, which is tremendous.’’

Staycations, the term given to time spent holidaying at home rather than abroad, are becoming more popular, a trend Mr Cantlay has welcomed.

He said: “People are doing things and seeing things in Scotland they haven’t done before or haven’t done for years.

“There was a terrible statistic a few years ago that said that 40 per cent of Scots had never had a mainstay holiday in Scotland.

“Now we see Scots making better use of Scotland and what’s on their doorstep.

“Things like the high-adrenaline adventure holidays and wild camping have also contributed to this.”

And the chairman was optimistic about Scotland’s – and Falkirk’s – tourism prospects.

He said: “There are so many opportunities coming up such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the next year of Homecoming and the Olympics. We got to be bold and take advantage of them,

“There’s great benefit in the fact people are investing in Scotland, and we’ve also seen investment in restaurants and accommodation in Falkirk.

“Things like new investments and tourist attractions are so important, and The Falkirk Wheel is just amazing.

“In Falkirk, we also see new developments like the Helix coming forward which is fantastic.

“The people behind the Helix have a right to be ambitious, Ambitious is exactly what they should be.”