Funding from the SNP Scottish Government is set to kick-start the Dumfries and Galloway tourism sector in preparation for an increase in domestic tourists this year who choose to experience their holidays as a staycation.

The funding will help provide more seasonal rangers, temporary toilets, car parking and campervan facilities to help rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway welcome back visitors when coronavirus restrictions are safely eased, in line with the Scottish Government’s Route Map Out of Lockdown.

The work – supported by £2.75 million to be administered through the NatureScot Better Places Fund – comes after countryside hotspots saw a marked increase in tourists last year.

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has said that in addition to supporting business, this funding will also help to deal with issues such as fly tipping and dirty camping – both of which she has previously taken action on due to some of the negative scenes from a minority of irresponsible visitors when lockdown was eased last summer.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“This year thousands of people will be rethinking their holiday plans and many will plan on coming to visit all that our stunning part of Scotland has to offer. So this investment from the Scottish Government to ensure there are enhanced services is very much welcome. This investment will also assist to address issues such as fly tipping and dirty camping which caused concern across Dumfries and Galloway last year.

“Not only will this very welcome funding provide a warm welcome for tourists visiting, it will also encourage them to come back again and again, which will only be good for the local economy.

“Dumfries and Galloway has long been supported through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund and I’m pleased that the fourth round of funding will open imminently for applications, so our community can continue to reap the benefits. If any business or constituent is looking for any further information, they can contact me at any time.”

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