Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs made an inpromptu visit to award winning Balbirnie House Hotel in Markinch today.
Mrs Hyslop was there to highlight her party’s support for the hospitality and tourism sector in Fife.
Balbirnie is a shining light in Scotland’s hospitality sectorFiona Hyslop MSP
During the visit the hotel’s managing director, Nicholas Russell gave her a tour of the hotel which was recently crowned as Scottish Wedding Venue of the Year for the ninth time in 11 years.
Mrs Hyslop said: “It’s a privilege to visit Balbirnie House Hotel today to promote the SNP’s commitment to hospitality and tourism in Fife.
“Balbirnie is a shining light in Scotland’s hospitality sector.
“Tourism is worth around £313 million a year in Fife and supports 6000 full-time jobs and contributes around nine per cent to the overall Fife economy.
“Given the very recent news about Tullis Russell it is crucial that we do everything in our power to strengthen and grow all sectors of our economy.”
With tourism in Fife showing year-on-year growth since the outset of the economic recession and tourism expenditure across the region increasing by £56m since 2008 - which equates to an average annual growth of four per cent compared to just over one per cent across the rest of the Scotland - Mrs Hyslop said there were some key areas of focus if the sector is to realise its ambitions for growth and jobs over the next ten years.
Among them increasing tourism jobs across the region and addressing the imbalance of seasonal visitors numbers.
Mrs Hyslop was joined by SNP parliamentary candidate Peter Grant, with the cabinet minister later making a visit to the SNP’s campaign hub in Markinch where she met supporters and campaign volunteers.