Michelle Ballantyne questions Cabinet Secretary on tourism plans

Scottish Conservative MSP for South Scotland, Michelle Ballantyne, today questioned the Scottish Government on their plans to increase tourism in the Scottish Borders.

The tourism industry is estimated to be worth more than £200 million to the Scottish Borders each year. The organisation, Developing the Young Workforce, however, has stated that it is proving increasingly difficult to recruit young people into the industry. This has led to fears that there will develop a significant shortage of skills in the industry if more young people are not encouraged to take up roles in areas such as catering, customer services and marketing.

Mrs Ballantyne therefore pushed the Government on what action it will take to improve the skills development and employment opportunities in tourism sectors for young people in the Scottish Borders.

As one of the biggest industries in the Scottish Borders it is of vital importance that the Scottish Government establishes initiatives to encourage more young people to seek employment in the tourism industry.

Speaking to the Cabinet Minister, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Michelle Ballantyne said:

“Tourism forms a key part of the Borders economy, contributing more than £200 million to the region each year.

“It is a sector that looks set to grow and grow, particularly as the effects of the Edinburgh City Region Deal are felt.

“What provision is the Scottish Government making to improve skills and employment opportunities in tourism for young people in the Scottish Borders?”