Plan to promote Dumfries and Galloway as a destination for motorhomes

Dumfries and Galloway Council is drawing up plans to attract more of the UK’s 250,000 motorhomes to the region.

By Brian Yule
Monday, 14th February 2022, 9:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 5:37 pm
There are 250,000 motorhomes registered in the UK
There are 250,000 motorhomes registered in the UK

Last year it ran a successful Visitor Management campaign to attract tourists back to the region and wants to continue to make visitors stay as simple as possible.

At present, the motorhome offering locally is confused with no clear communication about where motorhomes can park overnight.

As part of the campaign, the council produced ‘Park the day not the night’ signs for traditional motorhome parking spots, known as “Aires”, small scale overnight parking facilities for motorhomes, with basic amenities.

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As a pilot, Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool was granted £1,000 to put in three spaces, electrical points, and black and grey waste disposal.

The site launched in September, and they had 121 overnight stays at £10 a night, plus 31 waste disposals at £4, giving an income of £1,334 and a potential annual income of £5-6,000.

Their comment on the experience was: “The site runs itself with little need to do anything, the extra income will offset the massive rise in our energy costs and help us to maintain our community swimming pool. We would highly recommend this type of installation to others”.

To encourage provision of similar facilities the council aims to offer a grant of up to £5,000 per site to private and community organisations that want to provide an Aire for up to five motorhomes.

The grant will be dependent on the organisation gaining certified status from organisations such as Motorhome Fun, so no planning permission is required.

Economy and Resources Committee chair, Councillor Rob Davidson, said: “This is an excellent proposal, and one that proved very popular in our initial trial last year.

"Tourism is one of our most important economic sectors in our region and the target would be 15 new Aires with an average of four bays each creating nearly 22,000 spaces over a year.

"Based on VisitScotland touring figures we would expect an occupancy rate of 41 per cent giving an income to the Aires owners of around £90,000.

"The average tourist to Scotland spends £28 per day in the local economy making a potential extra income into the region of over £500,000.”