AN MP has called on Ayrshire’s three local authorities to get together to promote the area as a tourist destination.
Central Ayrshire MP Brian Donohoe said the three councils currently worked separately to promote “their own particular jewel in their crown.”
He said North Ayrshire has Arran, while South Ayrshire has Burns and golf and East Ayrshire has Kilmarnock Football Club.
Speaking at his annual tourism summit in Prestwick, Mr Donohoe said: “All three authorities must work together to treat Ayrshire as a whole rather than an area with three different parts.”
Local businesses complained organisations such as VisitScotland put too much onus on Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Mr Donohoe went on: “Many of them feel it is only the cities which are benefiting from the input of the tourism ‘experts’.
“We must get pan-Ayrshire support for a solely Ayrshire based tourism board or forum.
“Tourists arriving at Prestwick find absolutely no representation for the place. There is no promotion for Ayrshire. So how can we expect tourists to come here?”
The loss of Ryanair flights is another major blow to the tourism industry, said Mr Donohoe.
He added: “The cut-backs in the airline’s winter schedules has had a marked effect on the number of tourists coming to Ayrshire especially from the Scandanavian countries.
“I intend to promote a cross-party pan-Ayrshire effort in the hope that a body such at the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce can perhaps look at organising a more structured meet up for the future.”