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  1. ITV Report

D&G tourism boosts economy by £300million

Castle Douglas High Street busy with tourists Credit: ITV Border

Figures released by Dumfries and Galloway Council show that for the first time ever, tourism had generated more than £300 million for the local economy.

The report reflects data collected over the past 12 months from a number of businesses across the region.

"Building the local economy and creating jobs in the area is the council's number one priority and there's no more important sector to that aim than the tourism sector because it creates around seven thousand direct and indirect jobs in the region."

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Aswell as the financial boost, there's also been an increase in the number of visitors to the area- with almost 2.5million people passing through last year.

The owner of Mabie Farm Park, one of the region's top tourist attractions, says his figures correlate with those of the council, but that there's still more work to be done.

Mabie Farm Park Credit: ITV Border

"Last year we ended up up slightly up on the year prior - but we were coming from a very low ebb in 2012 because our number's dropped. We've got a fair way to go yet before we get back up to 2008 and 2009 figures."

– Allan Shuttleworth, Mabie Farm Park

However at Loch Ken Holiday Park near Castle Douglas, things haven't been quite so positive. Their visitor numbers have fallen over the past few years, which they attribute to the poor weather.

This year they've had a good start to the summer and are hoping that the warm weather continues to encourage more people into southwest Scotland. However they feel that the region isn't benefitting from all the people crossing the border heading north, with many of them bypassing Dumfries and Galloway completely.

Loch Ken Holiday Park near Castle Douglas Credit: ITV Border

"The M6 is a wonderful corridor for people to travel up, yes into Scotland but I believe they're flying past Dumfries and Galloway. The Lake District gets ten million visitors a year we get one or two million. Another million into our region isn't going to make us full in any means but it will help the economy enormously."

– Mungo Bryson, Loch Ken Holiday Park

The council say they already invest half a million pounds into marketing the region, and that new plans are being put in place from next year to appeal to attract more visitors.

"We're going to be looking at a new tourism strategy from 2016 onwards, we're going to be consulting with the tourism sector in the region and ask them what ideas they have to better promote the region and bring larger numbers of people to the area."

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

The southwest of Scotland hasn't had the best start to summer in terms of weather, which can often have a negative impact on the businesses who rely on the sunshine to boost sales. However, the council is hoping that the region can still continue to grow their tourism numbers, and in turn, grow the local economy.