A COMMITMENT to invest in a funding package to boost tourism development in Fife has been agreed.
Councillors gave the thumbs-up to invest £255,000 in a range of projects and campaigns to promote the Kingdom to visitors at last week’s meeting of the environment, enterprise and transportation committee.
Visitor information services will benefit from £126,000 of the investment. There are five in Fife: one in St Andrews which is run and funded by VisitScotland and four others in Crail, Anstruther, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline which are run by VisitScotland with funding from Fife Council. The remaining £126,000 will be used for campaigns and specific projects.
Tourism in Fife contributes around £260m per year to the local economy and around 12,500 people are employed in tourist-related jobs.
The number of visitors to Fife has increased over the last five years, thanks to events such as the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews and campaigns like Celebrating Fife 2010, which contributed £1.5m towards events across the Kingdom.
In a report to the committee, Keith Winter, head of enterprise at the Council, said tourism is a vital part of Fife’s economy.
He said: “Fife continues to attract large numbers of visitors and has shown overall growth during the past five years.
“There is a budget allocation of £255,000 for tourism development. A total of £116,000 will be committed to VisitScotland to run the visitor information centres and to manage the unmanned visitor information points.
“A partnership site is run by the business or organisation rather than by VisitScotland. However, VisitScotland will support the site by providing training and support so all parties are comfortable with the change. This will be the first such centre in Fife.”
Councillor Tony Martin, chairman of the environment, enterprise and transportation committee said: “Tourism is vital for the continued development of Fife’s economy.”