TV preview: Our Lives series

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One often hears some of the residents of Girvan wishing for a return to the days when the town was a very busy place during the summer, because of the large number of tourists who came to visit.

While there are still tourists who come to Girvan there are not anything like the number there once was. However, is having lots of tourists always a blessing? Judge for yourself with the help of the 30 minute documentary on Monday evening at half past seven on BBC1.

Part of the Our Lives series, this programme will be looking at Orkney. Orkney is now apparently the UK’s cruise ship capital and this year Orkney is due to receive 140 port calls with more than 120,000 passengers.

That is a huge number of visitors – indeed it is almost six times the population of Orkney.

You would imagine that the islanders would all be delighted by this, as the tourist industry is reported to bring in to the local economy each year between seven and nine million pounds.

Of course many people are delighted, including interviewee, Jimmy. He and his wife started off with a small taxi firm in Stromness. However, with a lot of hard work and because of the cruise ships, they have increased their business greatly and now instead of only one bus, they have 23 buses. This enables them to run the shuttle service from the ships into the centre of Kirkwall.

However, not all the residents see the cruise ships as a blessing.

Some of the restaurant and café owners complain that for various reasons, on cruise ship days, they actually end up losing money. Many residents also complain that on these days the streets are too crowded which creates problems for them. But whose side are you on?