SOUTH of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has welcomed a report highlighting the contribution of the Galloway Kite Trail to the local economy.
The MSP has lodged a motion in Parliament, noting that visitors to the trail have spent over £33m in the region since 2004, bringing over £4m in new spending and supporting new jobs.
With the Scottish Government promoting 2013 as the Year of Natural Scotland, the motion also highlights the trail as a prime example of the benefits of environmental and wildlife tourism.
Commenting on the report, Ms Beamish said: “Galloway is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland and the success of the kite trail underlines the benefits this can bring to the area.
“The trail is clearly attracting visitors to the region who in turn are spending money, supporting local businesses and creating jobs.
“Alongside the economic benefits, the trail is supporting increased biodiversity and I am delighted that the kite population appears to be thriving.
“As the Scottish Government mark 2013 as the Year of Natural Scotland, the Galloway Kite Trail is a prime example of how we can take advantage of our natural spaces to boost tourism, the local environment and wildlife.
“I visited the trail last year and the sight of the kites at feeding time was really impressive. I hope that people will take the time to visit the site and that the report can encourage similar ventures moving forward. I am sure that the Galloway Kite Trail will continue to go from strength to strength.”