COUNCILLOR David Kinniburgh, Provost of Argyll and Bute and Conservative councillor for Helensburgh and Lomond South, writes this week's Councillor Column.

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AS the restrictions we have been living under for over a year now, and particularly since the last lockdown which took effect in December 26, are lifted there is no doubt that staycation holidays are going to be the norm for the foreseeable future, especially for this year.

I am certainly aware of an increasing number of motorhomes on the road and I know a number of people who have purchased this type of vehicle in the last year, or are arranging a holiday based on hiring a motorhome.

Last year, when travel restrictions were lifted in late July following the first Covid lockdown, Argyll and Bute, like other local authorities, experienced a significant increase in the number of staycation visitors to known hotspots – and in particular around Loch Lomond.

As such in the council’s budget this year, £500,000 was allocated to support the delivery of a range of facilities all cross Argyll and Bute aimed at providing support for motorhome, caravan and camping users who are taking staycations this year and in the future.

With further funding allocated to market Argyll and Bute as Scotland’s premier staycation destination it is hoped that the measures will assist in the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industries that are so vital to the economy of Argyll and Bute and that the facilities and information provided will encourage visitors to act responsibly when visiting the area.

READ MORE: Opinion - 'A staycation in Helensburgh and Lomond is the ideal antidote to lockdown'

Of course, like many other things, the vast majority of people who visit the Helensburgh and Lomond area – whether as a staycation or a day trip – are responsible and respect the communities and areas they are visiting. It is the minority that require educating on how to carry out these activities in a responsible manner.

To provide information and encourage visitors to the area to act responsibly, the council have recently added a page to their website encouraging visitors to “Have a Great Time - Be a Great Visitor”.

This page provides links to a wealth of information for visitors working alongside partner agencies like the National Park, Visit Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne and Nature Scot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) – as well as providing useful local information for travelling around Argyll and Bute.

It focuses on how to be a great visitor by visiting safely, leaving no trace and keeping Argyll and Bute beautiful.

So whether you are planning a staycation in Argyll and Bute or beyond, or just getting out and about after lockdown, you can find out how to do so safely and responsibly by visiting

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