WE are all fortunate enough to live and work on the Isle of Skye and Raasay. Over many years, these islands’ residents have built up the tourism industry so that Skye boasts a warm welcome, excellent hospitality and a unique experience.

Nearly everybody on the islands is linked in some way to tourism, and the economic opportunities of the tourism industry support the rural and remote communities of Skye, Raasay and beyond.

The tourist industry can be unpredictable and so it concerns us to see sensationalist stories in the press, for a second year running, which could jeopardise the jobs, businesses and income of local people. We would hate to see an industry which has taken many years to develop undermined by a few stories which don’t fairly depict the efforts of hard-working people across the area. Whilst it is true that some areas of the island are busy, it is no more so than the North Coast 500 or the likes of Morar Sands.

READ MORE: Skye is 'open for business' as residents issue tourism call

We are in the business of making Skye an even better place, by targeting public investment in infrastructure, growing local businesses and ensuring that visitors want to return. For example, in the last year alone, the Fairy Pools has secured funds to build a car park and toilets, to make access easier for visitors and locals alike. The road and car park at Neist Point have been improved, roadside parking has been secured at the Quiraing, work on a car park extension at Storr will begin before the summer is out, and there is a new viewing platform at the Lealt Gorge. Businesses, communities, Highland Council and SkyeConnect are working exceedingly hard to offer the best visitor experience.

The Isle of Skye and Raasay, like many areas of the Highlands and Islands, is home to communities whose future is dependent on good jobs, steady incomes and business opportunities. Tourism makes a critical contribution to the local economy, and indeed the wider Scottish economy, and indirectly enables people to live, work and raise a family on the island.

We write to categorically assert that Skye and Raasay is well and truly open for business.

Lynne Anstice-Brown, Skye Jeep Tours

Sam Anstice-Brown, Skye Jeep Tours

Eileen Armstrong The Hirsel on Skye

Mr & Mrs Arthur – Portacullin Holidays

Dan Barratt, DB Woodmastercrafts

Martin Benson, Strath Print

Ian Blackford, MP for Skye, Lochaber and Ross

Denis Blackham, Teeny’s Cottage

Rose Blackham, Teeny’s Cottage

Inga Bonk, Inga’s sweet Treats

Carol Boyd, Kingsburgh BoatHouse Self Catering

Steve Braggington, Island Cycles

David Brown, AquaXplore.

Stuart Brumpton, Skye Picture House

Christina Campbell, Almond Bank Self Catering Bernisdale

Donald John Campbell, Almondbank Self Catering Bernisdale

Sarah Campbell, Guest Service Manager, 3 Chimneys

Chris Cartwright, Estate Manager, Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum of the Isles

Birgit Chaplin, Under The Rowan

Julia Christie, Knoydart B&B, Ardvasar

John Coghill, Central Skye Hotels

Janice Cooney, Seaflower Skye

Dan Corrigall - Harbour Fish and Chip Shop Portree

Joan Corrigall - Stardust Boat Trips Portree.

Mark Crowe, Skye Bike Shack

Sam Crowe, Old Croft House B&B

Laura Cunningham, Wildlife Croft

Alistair Danter, Project Manager for SkyeConnect

Jannie Diez, South Skye Sea Kayak, Sleat

Nick Duffill, Minginish Community Hall Association

Andi Dunkel, SkyeXplore Boat Trips

Peter Dunlop, Strath Print

Irina Emerson, Bracadale Holiday Cottages

Tony Emerson, Bracadale Holiday Cottages

Charmian Entwistle – Isle of Skye Yachts

Mark Entwistle – Isle of Skye Yachts

Mairi Evans, Just Hooked

Tom Eveling, Café Sia, Broadford

Elgar Finlay, Rural Development and Business Consultant

John Finlayson, Councillor for Eilean a’ Cheo Ward

Leslie Foale – Highland Natural Accents

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

Hamish Fraser, SkyeVac

Hamish Fraser, the Torabhaig Distillery, Sleat

Cathy Freeman, Isle of Skye Crafts

Alison Gainsford, Acting Chair of the Skye Tourism Task Force

Anne Gillies, chair of Raasay Community Council

Janet Gillies, J.M.MacDonald Opticians, Portree

Nina Gita, Marmalade & Boseville Hotels

John Gordon, Councillor for Eilean a’ Cheo Ward

Anne Gracie Gunn, Sonas Hospitality Ltd

Ewen Grant, Seaflower Skye

Nigel Grounds, Nigel Grounds Gallery, Armadale, Sleat

Penny Hardie, Penny Hardie Photography, Taigh na Cùil, Duisdale, Sleat

Lisa Harris, Harris Furnishings

Paul Harris, Harris Furnishings

Matt Harrison – Ace Target Sports

Katie Heron, Taigh Ailean Hotel

Andrea Holden, Skye Weavers

Roger Holden, Skye Weavers

Brian Howard Ullinish Country Lodge

Pam Howard Ullinish Country Lodge

Denise Huddleston, Cuckoo Tree Art Studio.

Mary Hyslop, Sonas Bed and Breakfast, Ardvasar Sleat

Tom Hyslop, Isle of Skye Leather Company, Sleat

Christine Jenkins, Greenwood Barn Self-Catering, Duisdale

Mairi Lamont, The Lane Restaurant

C Lates, Skye Base Camp Climber Hostel

Mike Lates, Skye Guides

Robert MacAskill, Relish

Angus Macdonald - Skyefish Portree

Catriona MacDonald, En t’Eillean Gallery, Portree

Donald MacDonald, Aros Centre

Isabella MacDonald, Kinloch Lodge

Jim MacDonald, self-catering operator

Ronald MacDonald, Councillor for Eilean a’ Cheo Ward

Sarah Macdonald, Floraidh Skye, Isle Ornsay

Duncan MacInnes, Artistic Director, SEALL , Skye Events for All

Donald Mackenzie, Artist, The Blue Studio Tarskavaig

Diane Mackie, No. 10 Self Catering, Artist Gallery

Lyn-Anne Mackinnon, The wee Croft House, Sasaig

Stuart Mackinnon, Skye Luxury Tours

Catriona Maclean – Torvaig Campsite + Independent Guide

Flora Maclean, Braeside Cottage Self-Catering, Tarskavaig

DJ MacLennan, Camus Cottage Self-Catering, Camscross

Macleod Estates

Joan Macleod, Blas, Dunvegan

Mark Macleod, Skyeness Tours

William Macphee, Hebridean Jewellery

Tanya Macpherson, Ragamuffin, Armadale.

Doreen Macrae, Top 10 Creations & 3D Komputers

Moira MacTagart, Perle Hotels

Gavin Major, Skye Batiks

Fiona Mandeville, Self Catering Provider

John Masson, Skye Music Shop

Jane McDermott, Aird Old Church Gallery, Sleat

Peter McDermott, Aird Old Church Gallery, Sleat

Peter McDermott, McDermott Creative Skye

Angus McGhie, Stein Inn

Teresa McGhie, Stein Inn

Paul McGlynn, Oyster Shed

Gordon McRirrick, Just Hooked

Henrik Micski, Project Officer for Minginish Community Hall Association

David Mills, The Old Potato Shed, Self-Catering, Sleat

Louise Mills, The Old Potato Shed, Self-Catering, Sleat

Minikoi B and B

Calum Montgomery, The Lodge, Edinbane

Catherine Morrison , Shorefield self catering cottage, Portnalong

Dorothy Morrison, Isle of Skye Holiday Cottages

Finlay Morrison – Joiner

Finlay Morrison, Broadford & Strath Community Council

Norma Morrison, Broadford & Strath Community Council

Ali Morton, Mint Skye Croft

Shaz Morton, Mint Skye Croft

Martin Nel – Hotel Eilean Iarmain, Isleornsay

Lady Lucilla Noble – The Gaelic Whiskies, Isleornsay

Alison Phillips, The Old Croft House Self-Catering, Aird, Sleat

Richard Powell, Hebridean Alpaca Co.

Sandra Powell, Hebridean Alpaca Co.

Vivienne Roberts, Abhaig B&B & Walking Pet Services

James Robertson, Isle of Skye Candle Co.

Jeremy Rossiter – JR Art

June Sanderson, Golf Highland High9’s Tour

Jake Sayles, NFU

Nicky Sellier, Skye Camping and Caravan Club

Norah Shann, Hazelbank, Waternish

Roger Shann, Hazelbank, Waternish

Nigel Smith, Seaprobe Atlantis

Rosie Somerville, SkyeTrak Safari

Shirley Spear OBE, Chairperson, SkyeConnect, and Owner, The Three Chimneys

Stay on the Bay, Skye

Kevin Stockley, Caorann Crafts

Dave Till, SkyeSkyns

Jenny Till, Sea2Skye


Adam Tweedie, Loch Eyre House

Eddie Tweedie, No. 1 Boseville Terrace

Peter Urquhart, “Portree Chippy”

Gary Wallace – Ferean Eilean Iarmain, Isleornsay

Rob Ware, Manager Visit Sleat Tourism Group

Stuart Watley, Edinbane Pottery

David S Weller, Skye Camping and Caravan Club

Alison West, West Highland Crafts

Graham West, Shepherds Cottage B&B

John White – Whitewave Activities

Liz White, Shore Cottage Self-Catering, Ord, Sleat

Peter White, Shore Cottage Self-Catering, Ord, Sleat

Edward Wickman, Cuillin Hills Hotel

Kevin Wickman, Cuillin Hills Hotel

Mary Wickman, Cuillin Hills Hotel

Ali Wilkinson, Henderson House, Stein

David Wilkinson, Henderson House, Stein

David Williamson, Isles Hotel, Portree

Sharon Williamson, Isles Hotel, Portree

Clare Winskill, Coruisk House,
Paul Wood, West Highland Publishing Company Limited

Dianne Young, Fourwinds Self-Catering, Teangue, Sleat