Politicians celebrate Scottish tourism at Fife park

MSP Willie Rennie (centre) joins Douglas Baillie and his wife Sonia, with their son Angus (3), on a park tour

MSP Willie Rennie (centre) joins Douglas Baillie and his wife Sonia, with their son Angus (3), on a park tour

Two Fife politicians flew the flag for Scotland’s visitor industry this month (March) when they paid a special visit to Tayport Links Caravan Park on the Fife coast as part of Scottish Tourism Week.

They were North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins, and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Willie Rennie

The event, which runs from 15-20 March, is designed to put the spotlight on Scotland’s tourism sector, and the multi-billion pound annual contribution it makes to the country’s economy.

The two men visited Tayport Links, between Dundee and St Andrews, to see how the family-run business attracts hundreds of visitors each year to the region.

The nine-acre park, on the edge of the historic fishing town of Tayport, has just over 100 caravan holiday homes and lodges owned by mainly Scottish families.

It has been owned by the Baillie family for the past 17 years, and the MP and MSP were shown around the grounds by Douglas Baillie who manages the park with his wife Sonia.

Earlier this year, Tayport Links was presented with the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at the top gold level for its outstanding care of the environment.

MP Stephen Gethins (left) with Douglas Baillie during the Tourism Week visit

MP Stephen Gethins (left) with Douglas Baillie during the Tourism Week visit

During their tour, the politicians were able to see some of the many wildlife initiatives taken, including the planting of many high pollen-bearing blooms to attract honey bees and butterflies.

Douglas Baillie told them that a recent independent economic survey found that Scottish holiday parks generate around £700m of visitor spending each year in Scotland.

This figure, he said, accounts for 8% of all the revenue produced by Scotland’s tourism economy, and allows the Scottish park sector to support more than 5,600 full-time equivalent jobs.

Mr Gethins commented: “Tourism is vitally important to the North East Fife economy, and it is great to see businesses like Douglas and Sonia’s continue to provide excellent facilities which bring visitors to the area. It is not difficult to see why people want to enjoy a holiday in a fantastic location which has so much to offer.”

Speaking after his visit, Mr Rennie said: “It was great to see a caravan park of such high quality that is connected to the environment that surrounds it.

“Tourism is a major economic driver for Scotland and with businesses like this it will contribute even more in the future,” he added

Mr Baillie said he was delighted that both the MP and MSP were able to take time out to visit his family’s park, and to help raise the profile of Scottish Tourism Week.

He added that this area of Fife has a special appeal to lovers of the natural world and that the Tayport Links team had tried to create a park which was a match for the magnificent surroundings.

There is more information about Tayport Links at www.tayportlinkscaravanpark.co.uk

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