She paid tribute to the many hard working tourism businesses across the region who she said have “worked tirelessly to provide world class services to people across the region, and who have worked hard to overcome the additional challenges of the pandemic.
Ms Harper thanked – South Scotland Destination Alliance, VisitScotland and South Scotland Enterprise - for the work they have been doing to support the region’s tourism businesses, including by helping business to access crucial Covid-19 support.
As a representative of Scotland’s “bonniest regions, the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway”, Ms Harper said she was proud to shine a light on the south with its beautiful scenery, world-class food and drink, outdoor pursuits and the enormous contribution the area makes to Scotland’s national environment and tourism economy.
Ms Harper highlighted the Southern Upland Way, Scotland’s only official coast-to-coast long-distance footpath, the 7Stanes mountain biking biking trails, the internationally recognised Galloway Dark Sky Park, the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.
She also highlighted the Stranraer Water Sports Association who are developing the Stranraer waterfront.
Ms Harper also made a plug for Dumfries, as Queen of the South, to achieve City Status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
She said: “During the debate on Scottish Tourism Month I highlighted the fantastic tourist businesses, and our amazing resources, our South Scotland region has to offer.
"I also acknowledged the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our region’s tourism businesses and thanked South Scotland Enterprise, South Scotland Destination Alliance and all other tourist groups for the work they do.”