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Wild Scotland Appoints New Chair

Wild Scotland (WS) – The National Association representing Wildlife, Activity and Adventure Tourism in Scotland

 

31st March 2020

In what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging times for the Scottish tourism sector Douglas McAdam has been appointed as Chairman of Wild Scotland, the body that represents the wildlife, adventure and activity sector in Scotland.

Following the recent resignation of the previous and long-standing Chairman Ben Mardall, Douglas McAdam was appointed at the Wild Scotland Board meeting on the 26th March.

Following his appointment Doug said:
“The challenges facing the whole sector are absolutely extreme at the moment with many businesses that have been nurtured and growing over recent years now facing potential ruin through no fault of their own. The fundamentals are still there, Scotland’s amazing landscapes, wildlife and opportunities for adventure remain, but supporting our members and their businesses through the current hungry gap is vital if we are to have businesses at the other end that can bounce back and continue to keep Scotland at the forefront of people’s destination choices. Due to the nature of the adventure tourism sector, many of those involved – such as boat operators and small businesses will not fit neatly into the current support packages for “employed” and “self employed” and this needs to be addressed. This has been compounded by the recent lack of clarity over small business grant support for self catering businesses. Many in the sector also run self catering units to accommodate clients, but with the recently announced primary income from self catering business requirement many will not now qualify due to the income from their adventure and wildlife tourism operation. The current situation is putting many under even more undue stress and raising concerns for people’s health and mental wellbeing and I would implore our Scottish Government to sort this out as soon as possible in a way that is fair and equitable to all small businesses in Scotland. I have recently been in direct contact with Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing to reiterate again our concern with this issue”
“The whole tourism sector in Scotland has come together amazingly well in a united voice and with a clear message that the time for effective help and support that is straight forward to access is now.”

Wild Scotland represents a diverse range of micro and macro businesses in the wildlife, adventure and activity tourism sector. From wildlife watching boat tours and walking tours to kayaking expeditions and survival skills. Members are located in rural and remote corners of Scotland and each and every one of them delivers an incredible experience crucial to the reputation of Scotland as a Sustainable Adventure Tourism Destination. Communities rely heavily on these businesses to bring in visitors from the UK and overseas – hugely benefitting the overall Scottish economy.
Many of these businesses are seasonal, lifestyle businesses who operate on a seasonal basis from April to October.
Wild Scotland is doing everything it can as an organisation to ensure each and every one of these businesses gets the recognition and support it needs during such challenging times. The organisation is engaging with members on a daily basis and feeding back to the Scottish Government, Scottish Tourism Alliance and VisitScotland on a regular basis.

If you are an adventure operator in Scotland, now is the time to get involved, and join Wild Scotland, support the sector and ensure your Voice is heard.

Ends.

Notes: Wild Scotland is the National Association representing the Wildlife, Activity and Adventure Tourism Sector in Scotland.
Our members offer everything from wilderness walking holidays and mountain biking tours to whale-watching boat trips and bushcraft activities. They are committed to providing best practice and deliver some of the most inspiring experiences that Scotland has to offer.

The organisation was first established in 2003 and later in 2011 merged with Activity Scotland.

For more information or images relating to Wild Scotland please contact:

Victoria Brooks: victoria@wild-scotland.co.uk / 07868 339404 or 01738 710332

 

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