ELECTION 2021: SNP candidate Adam pledges new tourism forum for Banffshire and Buchan Coast area
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A CANDIDATE in the race for the Banffshire and Buchan Holyrood seat has pledged to chair a new tourism forum if elected.
Karen Adam, who is standing for the SNP, has said she would take the lead with the new body, which would have the aim of uniting local businesses and tourist organisations in the area covered by the constituency.
While the Covid pandemic has been devastating for the local tourism sector, Ms Adam believed that there are long-running problems surrounding promotion and management of tourism in the area. In response, she says there is a need to create a brand new forum to fix local problems.
“It’s a competitive world out there and we need a unified marketing strategy that plays to our strengths,” she continued.
“Throughout this election campaign, businesses and individual constituents have spoken to me with a single voice.
"We need to look at how we can best help the tourism sector that’s so vital to the area – particularly in navigating us out of this unprecedented health crisis.”
In June 2020 a funding package from the Scottish Government was a welcome boost for destination management organisations and sector groups. However, Ms Adam has spoken out for the need to do more and said she has already engaged with a number of interested businesses and organisations.
She said: “The forum will consist of key tourism stakeholders with the aim of forming a united strategy.
"This will not only boost tourism in the area but manage it strategically so we can best support the local economy.
“I want to make a meaningful and determined effort to build upon the strengths of our economy. I know that good ideas in the past have not always matured or evolved to have a tangible outcome. That must change which is exactly what this forum aims to do by bringing businesses and organisations together.
“We have so much to offer in Banffshire and Buchan Coast, from iconic destinations and coastal tours to the world's most valued food and drink. The coast from Buckpool to Boddam is a feast for the eyes with a unique local history and culture that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.”
The new forum will include discussions around practical actions but Ms Adam is adamant it will not just be a talking shop. She emphasised how destination marketing and the development of market leisure experiences – taking into account lobbying, business innovation and leadership – are central to future success.
“Someone has to be willing to step up and take responsibility,” she added.
“If elected I intend to do just that.”
Also standing in the constituency are: Jason Duncan (Freedom Alliance); Mark Findlater (Conservative); David McHutchon (Restore Scotland); Alison Simpson (Liberal Democrats); Georgia Strachan (Labour).