Tourism could be on the up

Tourism businesses across the region are feeling optimistic about the future, according to new research.

The surge in positivity is one of the key findings from the third Dumfries and Galloway Council annual Tourism Business Confidence Monitor.

The 2013 survey revealed that more than 80 percent of the businesses contacted said their performance was either the same or better than in 2012. The camping and caravan sector, in particular, said that 2013 was much better that the previous year and hotels also pulled back some of the visitor numbers dropped in 2012.

More than 20 percent of businesses reported that visitors were spending more than in 2012, which they attributed to the improvement in the economy and the good weather last summer.

Comments from businesses included:

“It just goes to show what a decent summer can do for business. We will be looking for more of the same next year.”

Guests are “eating out properly rather than getting a carry-out and most importantly just having the money to get away for a few days”.

Galloway tourism businesses are responding to the upward trend in online bookings.

People are also booking breaks later than they used to. With this in mind operators have started to move to late booking discounts, even commenting that they will factor this in to the standard rates in 2014.

Operators are generally confident about 2014, providing the economy continues to improve and prices, particularly fuel, don’t rise too much, with only 10 percent being concerned about their prospects this year.

The report can be found by clicking on “tourism” at