The number of people working in tourism in Argyll and Bute increased by 10 per cent in one year according to new figures – with Scotland as a whole seeing an increase of 11 per cent.
The statistics, produced by Visit Scotland, show that tourism supports 6,500 jobs in Argyll and Bute, 17 per cent of total jobs in the area.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people employed in the sector across Scotland grew to 217,000 – with the 11 per cent increase in Scotland above the four per cent rise in Great Britain as a whole.
The 217,000 members of the Scottish tourism industry represent nine per cent of the country’s total employment and is the highest tourism level since Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) records began in 2009.
41 per cent of staff in the tourism industry work in restaurants, 24 per cent in hotels and other accommodation, and 17 per cent in bars and related businesses.
SNP MSP Michael Russell said: “Our tourism industry is going from strength to strength and this increase in jobs shows the vital role that tourism plays in Scotland’s economy and particularly in Argyll and Bute.
“Scotland is famed for its warm welcome, incredible scenery and top class attractions – and with 2017 the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we are celebrating our exceptional historical attractions.
“With Scotland ranked second in the Rough Guides list of the best countries in the world to visit this year, tourism in Argyll & Bute has a very bright future.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy.
“These fantastic new figures show that, from hotel owners to waiting staff, tourism really is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow. They also demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the 2020 strategy – which aims to generate economic growth through tourism.”