Kezia loves spending time in Portobello, and shares the belief with ‘Big Things on the Beach’ that Portobello Beach and Promenade should be the pride of Edinburgh. Kezia supports local efforts to regenerate and reinvigorate this already special part of town, and works closely with her Labour colleagues such as Cllr Maureen Childs to help turn this aspiration into a reality.
If you also want to support this cause you can find more detail on exactly what the plans are for Portobello and how to get involved with the campaign, check out their website at www.bigthingsonthebeach.org.uk.
Kezia also recently tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions about how the Scottish Government could better support seaside destinations. Here’s the detail:
Kezia Dugdale (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government whether it provides public funds to support seaside destinations. (S4W-10037)
Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:
As I indicated in my earlier answer to S4W-05902 on 12 March 2012, the Scottish Government does not provide specific funding to support seaside destinations for tourism purposes.
The Scottish Government works closely with a wide range of organisations including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish development International, Skills Development Scotland, VisitScotland, local authorities, the third sector, financial institutions and other specialist sectoral advisory bodies to promote sustainable economic growth throughout Scotland.
The Coastal Communities Fund aims to support projects in Scotland’s coastal communities that promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in tourism. In addition to this, VisitScotland supports local initiatives through its Growth fund and provides business support for individual tourism businesses and tourism groups.
The economic development agencies of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Island Enterprise and VisitScotland continue to contribute to economic intelligence and growth opportunities and actively engage, via local authority partners to ensure that opportunities are identified and supported wherever possible. In addition VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise collaborate to provide a range of tourism specific resources which may be accessed using the url http://www.tourism-intelligence.co.uk/.
All answers to written Parliamentary Questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx.
Kezia Dugdale (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government how it can support the (a) development and (b) people’s enjoyment of Edinburgh’s seaside as a destination. (S4W-10038)
Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:
The Scottish Government support the development, and people’s enjoyment of, Edinburgh’s seaside in a number of ways. [Working with public bodies these include, but are not restricted to outcomes, set out in the National Performance Framework. Relevant indicators in the National Performance Framework include: ensuring that Edinburgh’s seaside is clean through improving the state of Scotland’s marine environment; increase people’s use of Scotland’s outdoors; improve people’s perception of their neighbourhood; reduce waste generated; reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint; reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint; increase the abundance of terrestrial breeding birds; increase cultural engagement; improve people’s perceptions about the crime rate in their area; increase physical activity; improve people’s perceptions of the quality of public services.]
In terms of support for development and enjoyment of Edinburgh’s seaside as a tourism destination, Scottish Enterprise supports the tourism sector in Edinburgh across the city. Scottish Enterprise also provides support to Edinburgh, as a whole, through Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG). ETAG, with support from Scottish Enterprise, aims to improve business performance, enhance the visitor experience and strengthen Edinburgh’s position as a world class visitor destination. VisitScotland is able to provide support to any eligible business within Edinburgh and Scotland.
Kezia Dugdale (Lothian) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to promote intra-Scottish tourism and how important this is to the economy.
Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:
Tourism is a key sector of the Scottish economy and tourism related industries are estimated to have contributed around £2.9 billion to Scottish GVA in 2010.
There was a 3 per cent increase in domestic (GB) tourism visits to Scotland, involving an overnight stay, in the year to June 2012 compared to the previous
12 months and a 13 per cent increase in domestic expenditure in the corresponding period in Scotland.
The Great Britain Tourism Survey 2011 estimates that around 60 per cent of trips involving an overnight stay within Great Britain by Scottish residents are within Scotland (7 million out of 11 million GB visits by Scottish residents).
VisitScotland continue to build upon their domestic marketing campaigns to maintain and increase these markets. In particular 2013 has been designated as our Year of Natural Scotland, a year in which we will celebrate Scotland’s reputation as a place of outstanding natural beauty. In the run up to, and during, the year we will focus on promoting the activities available in Scotland’s natural tourism attractions and will inspire the people of Scotland to rediscover their own country and visitors to come and experience and participate in Scotland’s natural festivals and events, natural tourism attraction and outdoors locations.