The Western Isles are a dream destination but at times a nightmare to get to. The rising cost of holidays to the islands is a deterrent, never mind the often problematic vulnerability of the ferry service, although this is itself a feature of island life, David accepts sanguinely. Although the constant negative discussion in the press on these matters may itself be a deterrent to potential visitors.
However, in true island style David has that flexibility and adaptable approach, with new additions to his core sea tours business. He trained in paddleboarding in order to offer an environmentally sensitive activity, getting people even closer to the sea. He is teaming up with local accommodation and wildlife tour guides to offer walks for the land-lovers as new products in the coming year.
With concerns about how the island is being marketed he sees a lot of tourism that offers very little back to the economy, such as some types of camper vanning and the Hebridean Way is not as embedded in the local economy as it could be. There are opportunities too for new products especially in the off-season with great dark open skies for stargazing and northern lights viewing, another way of helping people connect with the natural world. Some support and assistance with developing and marketing such products would really help. The role of community companies needs to be better realised and supported by government, if local solutions to climate change and developing the rural economy are to be found.