Dunvegan Castle and Gardens win tourism award

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Dunvegan Castle and Gardens has won this year’s Scottish Land and Estate’s Helping it Happen Tourism Award.

The award was presented last week at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

Estate director Hugh MacLeod said he was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the MacLeod Estate team which work so hard behind the scenes to give visitors the property’s trademark warm Highland welcome.

‘This award comes at the tail end of another successful season for the estate – albeit slightly down on last year’s record 168,000 visitors,’ he added.

‘These high visitor numbers create additional pressures on our team and the historic fabric of a Highland fortress that was designed to be impregnable.

‘But these challenges have been largely addressed thanks to the estate’s rolling programme of major capital investment in Dunvegan Castle and the wider estate, totalling £3.6 million since 2008.

‘As one of the largest private sector employers on Skye, I’m very proud of what we have achieved since I took over management of the estate in 2008.

‘I would like to dedicate this award to my late father who had the vision to see that in order to ‘hold fast’ in the modern world, Dunvegan had to adapt from being a medieval fortress designed to keep people out to a place focused on welcoming people in.

‘Since those early make or break days in the 1960s, our dedicated team has extended a warm Highland welcome to millions of visitors, which has had the beneficial ripple effect of underpinning many Skye businesses that rely on the crucial visitor spend that generates.’

Annually the estate contributes an average of £800,000 through employment and purchase of local goods and services and since 2008, has contributed £7.4m to the Skye economy and more than £11m to the Scottish economy.