In scenes from an apocalyptic movie, Scotland’s Capital of the Highlands, Inverness, is now a ghost city. Hardly any people are to be seen. Shops are boarded up and if a man was pulling a cart up the High Street yelling “bring out your dead” was working, it would be like the Great Plague of the 17th century.
Restaurants, takeaways, pubs, theatres, social venues, public gardens – just about everything is closed and tourists, visitors and locals are being told to stay away and stay at home.
“It’s a disaster for the Loch Ness Research Project for Internet Anomalies“, Professor Kettle told this paper. “We are doing what we can from self-isolation on our carbon fibre floating hub on Loch Ness but we have been told we must stay anchored well away from the land and have supplies sent to us by boat with social distancing maintained at all times. Obviously, if Nessie became infected then this pandemic could become much worse as the interaction of a novel virus with a Jurassic creature could cause unknown mutations”.
Our heath service and shops are already at BREAKING POINT and your visit may result in your own death or somebody else’s as supplies and facilities run out. You will be welcome again in the future but please be responsible and do not come now.
Our appeal is being bolstered by many responsible businesses already closing to visitors (including B&Bs and hostels). But where we see hotels etc. continue to open to tourists against the advice of government (who have requested “social distancing at ALL times of at least 2 metres”) we ask you to complain about them and ask your booking agent or website to cancel their accounts and to email email@example.com to complain to them and campaign for them to publish prominent advice to visitors to STAY AWAY.
We are pleased that other Tourist Agencies including North Coast 500 and Routes To The Isles are already taking action to try and persuade tourists and visitors to DO THE DECENT THING and STAY AWAY.
It’s rarely that this blog sees much to agree with in Chambers of Commerce and Tourist Associations across the Scotland and the rest of the world but praise should be given where it is due. So, it must be right for Drumnadrochit’s Association to have circulated a letter by one of its long time business members (boat skipper George Edwards) who is evidently very concerned that some local formally unqualified pseudo scientists seem intent on pushing plankton & floating wood on the public rather than looking for the Loch Ness Monster and “bigging up” the mystery.
Let’s be quite clear: People know Loch Ness around the world because of the fame of the Loch Ness Monster, not because some ageing pseudo scientists, many of whom originally came to find Nessie but personally failed to find her, now want to use captive museum audiences to push a message about microbes and worms that many probably don’t want to hear; at least not while on holiday in Nessie’s supposed home village!
Veteran monster hunter and expert George Edwards is a well respected boat skipper who has probably ferried tens of thousands of visitors out onto Loch Ness to learn about the magic of Nessie, her caves and the unknown mysteries in the deep dark loch. He is always talking up the chances of seeing Nessie and maybe one day finding her. What he doesn’t do is ape some of the debunkers by advertising his boat as a Nessie attraction and then feeding negativity about Nessie down his passengers gullets based on the non academic background of hobbyists and others. George’s approach is therefore “Nessie, I believe” rather than “Nessie, she’s not real. Thanks for your money but she’s all just fiction so have some micro worms and a floating fence post instead. Oh and here’s the gift shop on your way out”.
This debate is important for the future of Drumnadrochit and all of the businesses within it. The world is full of cynics, bitter failures and debunkers in all spheres of existence and people visiting Drumnadrochit want to experience something more akin to the magic of Lapland and Father Christmas than a sombre museum monologue on pond life.
So on this occasion well done, Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Association for taking a pro Nessie stand. But don’t let it be a flash in the pan. Strive to encourage all the museum owners to considerably up their game, consider dispensing with yesterday’s formally unqualified Nessie naysayers and start fighting for the recovery of the all important pro Nessie tourism for every business in the area.
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