KATE Forbes has embarked on a new role as a Tourism ambassador for the Highlands and will host a roadshow in the “coming months”, it has been revealed.

The Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP will engage with the sector across the Highlands “focusing on strategic tourism development” for the Highland Tourism Community Interest Company (CIC).

Forbes’s role will take her across the Highlands to encourage businesses and community leaders across the region to work together.

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It will also entail discussions to find ways to ensure the huge rural area becomes a “world-leading exemplar in sustainable development”, with the vision to drive regeneration in the Highlands, the company said.

“Tourism is a vital sector for Scotland and particularly the Highland region,” Forbes said.

“Highland Tourism CIC’s approach, which is community driven and has private sector investment and buy-in, makes economic and cultural sense.

“I believe they will get things done, creating immediate and long-term positive impact.”

Forbes said she was “delighted” to take on the role as an ambassador for the tourism industry.

She added: “I will do all I can to support Highland Tourism’s ambitions to make significant investment in tourism development for the region and have proposed a series of meetings with business leaders to explore how we can work more closely in the region to make the Highlands attractive to visitors and businesses from around the world.

“I am particularly interested in the role Highland Tourism CIC can play to present the Highlands as a better place to live, work, visit, study and invest. This is critical for our future.”

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Highland Tourism CIC has 150 ambassadors with a board of directors which features leading tourism businesses in the region, including Nevis Range and Cabot Highlands.

The CIC has had private sector investment of £400,000, £150,000 of which came from sponsorship from TomatinDistillery.

The ambassadors have a “sustainable mission” and will communicate the “values of conscious travel”, the CIC added.

Yvonne Crook, chair of Highland Tourism CIC said: “This is a huge boost to our efforts, to have such a hard-working and knowledgeable MSP providing her support.


“Highland Tourism CIC was established in 2020 with an ambition to invest millions of pounds annually in a tourism strategy that will transform the way we do tourism.

“Kate has encouraged our work since the very early days and has made a number of fantastic suggestions for progress.

“To have her join our Ambassadors underlines the fact that we are here to stay and that we have significant potential value to offer the tourism sector and the Highlands as both a brand and a destination.

“We are working to unite all key stakeholders and Highland brands behind a regenerative tourism strategy that will enhance our communities, our economy and our environment.

“We are very excited about Kate’s idea of a series of presentations throughout the Highlands to engage business leaders and we will provide more details on that as we finalise our plans.”