VisitScotland to shut Pitlochry, Perth, St Andrews and Stirling visitor centres

VisitScotland will close its entire network of visitor centres including locations in tourism hotspots across Perthshire and Fife.

Centres will be shut in Pitlochry, Perth, St Andrews and Stirling – where tourists have been able to speak to local experts about attractions and places of interest.

The tourist body says the closures come in response to change in the way people plan trips – and a 42% decline in footfall since 2019.

They say social media, YouTube and online travel websites are now among the ways people now find and plan holiday experiences.

Tourists flock to sites across the region like the Wallace monument at Stirling. Image: PA.

All VisitScotland information centres – known as iCentres – will operate as usual until the end of September as part of phased two-year closure programme.

Tourism ‘changed significantly’

It is not known if any staff are likely to be made redundant as part of the process.

Lord Thurso, VisitScotland chairman, said: “The tourism landscape has changed significantly in recent years.

“The demand for iCentres has reduced while the demand for online information and booking has continued to grow.

“In order to continue building demand and growing the value of tourism and events, it is vitally important that we target channels we know visitors use to influence them to visit Scotland.”

St Andrews is among the locations affected.

Are budget cuts to blame?

Lord Thurso said VisitScotland research showed they would have a greater impact providing information before people travel.

Perthshire-based MSP Murdo Fraser, who represents Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “These closures are very concerning, and will be a serious blow to staff in visitor centres.

“They come as a direct result of the SNP’s savage cuts to Visit Scotland’s budget, and their wider failure to support the tourist sector, which makes a crucial contribution to Scotland’s economy.”

Source

Leave a Comment