Tuesday 22 March 2011

Is crypto-tourism getting out of hand? look at Loch Ness

By Andy Dixon
Published:  22 March, 2011
EFFORTS to gain World Heritage site status for Loch Ness and the Great Glen have been strengthened by plans for two rival multi-million pound visitor centres being given the green light yesterday.According to the organisation behind the heritage bid, the Loch Ness-side proposals will form an important piece of the ambitious campaign alongside popular events such as RockNess and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon.The plans, which will see two harbours built 500 metres apart at Brackla in the first major lochside development in decades, were approved by area councillors at a special planning applications committee meeting in Inverness.A £2 million centre is proposed by brothers Robbie and David Bremner, near the Clansman Hotel, while a £2.5 million complex is planned by Jacobite Cruises on land nearby.World heritage bidder Destination Loch Ness has backed the project."With these two developments there are a lot of good things happening and about to happen around Loch Ness," said Graeme Ambrose, the executive director of the not-for-profit organisation."If all these come together we will be in a very much stronger position to ultimately go for that long-term aspiration of World Heritage status."Qualities that could earn the accolade for Loch Ness and the Great Glen were set out in November 2008. They make no mention of Nessie, but do include historical and cultural features such as Urquhart Castle and the annual RockNess music festive.At yesterday's meeting not everyone was happy - Inverness South councillor Jim Crawford was among those who voted against approval claiming it might set a precedent for future developments and increased commercialisation."Where do we stop on Loch Ness and the commercialisation of Loch Ness? Someone said to me this morning that we are going to make a Disneyworld of this," he said.
I am the only one that thinks this is getting out of hand? Soon there will be no room left at the loch for Nessies because of all the tourists!

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