Tourism soars in South Ayrshire

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle

More tourists are flocking to scenic South Ayrshire with 1.49 million visitors making a beeline for the area’s attractions last year.

There was a 3.5 per increase in tourists in 2018 compared to the year before.

Forty seven percent of them stayed for at least a night or more while 53 per cent just came for a day to take in the sights.

The Scottish Air Show was a major highlight during the year and attracted crowds of 160,000.

Culzean Castle, the Robert Burns Birthplace museum, Ayr and Troon beaches are among the top attractions listed on website TripAdvisor.

Turnberry Lighthouse, Heads of Ayr Farm Park and Dundonald Castle  are also major draws according to the website.

The smash hit series Outlander is creating a buzz in the village of Dunure enticing fans to the spot where shots have been filmed.

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie is due to jet to China in a bid to woo more Asian visitors and promote trade this month.

The rise in sightseers was revealed at the South Ayrshire full council meeting yesterday in a report.

Commenting on the increase at the meeting, council leader Douglas Campbell said: “Tourism is maintaining good levels.”

Plans to put South Ayrshire further on the map include creating a heritage zone in Ayr town centre and promoting golf tourism.

Ayr beach toilets have been spruced up and a new seaside play park added to provide a better welcome for families.

Plans are being hatched to turn the Low Green into an all year destination with new facilities.

The town’s tourist centre, which was based in the Sandgate, closed in 2018.