Regular readers of DN will know that I have a pet peeve about paranormal tourism – using unsubstantiated stories about local mystery creatures, UFO sightings or haunted places to bring in tourists to spend money. It’s not altogether wrong, I mean people do like that kind of stuff but it does promote the features as REALITY and gives them a greater credibility than they deserve thus bolstering belief in such things.
The people in Scotland are getting pretty desperate to preserve their beloved lake monster and are holding a business seminar to give locals tips on drawing more tourism dollars.
A free seminar, called Monster Marketing, will be hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and tourism body VisitScotland.
The seminar will be held in Inverness on 16 May.
Willie Cameron, director of Loch Ness Marketing and a former Highlands and Islands Tourism Ambassador of the Year, will talk about Nessie’s impact on the local area.
Also speaking at the seminar will be Graeme Ambrose of the Inverness and Loch Ness Tourism Business Improvement District.
He will talk about how there is more to Loch Ness and the surrounding area than just the monster myth.
I love the monster myths and I would love to go to Loch Ness. But I keep it in perspective that we are talking about the LEGEND that makes places like this famous. When hauntrepreneurs cash in on tourist dollars by promoting a historic building as haunted, or hoaxing, it does cheapen the real history.
I realize not everyone agrees with me on this stance. I certainly don’t advocate doing away with tourist activities like this but in places, it goes too far. At some point, you need to stop relying on a myth to get people to come visit and find some other draw that won’t result in cheap merch in gift shops and gaggle of tourists gawking at really awful or faked “evidence”.