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Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil is dismayed at the closure of the Lochboisdale Tourist Office as VisitScotland state that they are unable to recruit suitable staff.

Mr MacNeil has received confirmation from VisitScotland that the decision has been taken not to re-open the premises and roll out the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme, a strategy which will include industry, working with VisitScotland to provide more information to more people through more outlets.

VisitScotland state that Quality assured businesses will be encouraged to work with VisitScotland to provide local information within their own premises.

Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said: “It is absolutely baffling that VisitScotland have taken the decision to close this facility and people in South Uist are bewildered by the reasons given for the closure.  There are undoubtedly plenty of suitably qualified people who could do this work.

“Lochboisdale has a daily ferry service to Mallaig, which was introduced by the SNP government and it is incomprehensible that VisitScotland have taken the decision to close this office.  We are now approaching the height of the tourist season and visitors arriving in Lochboisdale will be greeted by a locked tourist office.

“VisitScotland tell me that they have met with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Amenity trust, Community Council, Lochboisdale Development Limited and Outer Hebrides Tourism to share this vision and gain support in preparation of the VIP programme going live.

“It would appear that VIP programme will expect local businesses to take over the responsibilities provided by the tourist office.

“I will be writing to Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland to take immediate steps to rectify this situation and re-open the Lochboisdale Tourist Office.  The people of South Uist and tourists deserve better.”