Lonely Planet ranking ‘a great opportunity’ for Bute

Bute's natural assets, history and heritage and accessibility leave the island ideally placed to take advantage of the Lonely Planet's choice of Scotland as one of the world's top places to visit in 2014. This picture, overlooking Scalpsie Bay, was taken by reader Keith McIntyre on September 29 and featured in the 'Beauty of Bute' column in The Buteman's issue of October 4, 2013.

Bute's natural assets, history and heritage and accessibility leave the island ideally placed to take advantage of the Lonely Planet's choice of Scotland as one of the world's top places to visit in 2014. This picture, overlooking Scalpsie Bay, was taken by reader Keith McIntyre on September 29 and featured in the 'Beauty of Bute' column in The Buteman's issue of October 4, 2013.

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Scotland’s ranking this week as one of the world’s best countries to visit in 2014 is a golden opportunity for Bute.

So says James McMillan, a director of VisitBute, the island’s tourism and marketing organisation, following Scotland’s description by the Lonely Planet guide as one of the top places in the world to visit next year.

The world-famous guide put Scotland behind only Brazil and Antarctica in its list of top ten countries for 2014, saying the country’s “jam-packed schedule of world-class events”, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, golf’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the nationwide Year of Homecoming, made it “the place to be”.

Mr McMillan said: “This is fantastic news for Scotland and a great opportunity to showcase the best Bute has to offer to new and returning visitors.

“Bute’s accessibility, its natural beauty and its history and heritage combine to make a tremendous tourism offering, and with so much going on in Scotland next year it would be great to see the island use the Lonely Planet ranking to its best advantage.”

Scotland was ranked thired in Lonely Planet’s annual ‘Best in Travel’ guide - a collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead.

Mr McMillan’s sentiments were echoed by Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, who urged people and businesses in the constituency to take advantage of the opportunity.

“Tourism is vitally important to our local economy,” he said, “and with the spotlight on Scotland in 2014 we should be prepared to show off our many assets to the influx of visitors that these world class events will bring.

“Scotland is clearly seen as a world class destination and Argyll and Bute is one of the jewels in that crown. Let’s prepare ourselves to tap into the zeitgeist as our assets quite clearly match up with the things that international visitors are looking for.”