Argyllshire Advertiser – leader column

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The tourist trap

Tarbert tourist information centre is a real asset to the village and to Kintyre, Mid Argyll, Cowal and the islands.

Its prominent position on the harbour front makes it easy to find for visitors and this particular centre offers a wealth of information and the opportunity to talk to people.

It is a misconception based on an urban view of life that everyone has continuous access to super-duper fibre broadband and a reliable 4G mobile signal.

The simple fact is people often need and want face to face advice when they are in a strange place and if you have no mobile signal what use is a website or an app?

The number of tourist information centres has shrunk dramatically in recent years and it does nothing for the notion of Scotland being a friendly nation if all we do is point visitors in the direction of Google Play or the App Store.

To close Tarbert and Inveraray centres – though a version of this will move to the Woollen Mill – is patently daft.

Aside from the loss of much-needed jobs, a friendly face, a blether and readily available local knowledge still count for something – even in these smartphone-obsessed times.