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Row over Tourism Map Omission

AN UNHOLY row has broken out after the country's tourism agency, VisitScotland, left the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland off the Dumfries and Galloway map on their brand new website.

Whithorn, which pre-dates Iona by 300 years, has been omitted from map launched with the site earlier this month.

The Whithorn Trust Visitor Centre, which has brought in consultants to look at ways of raising Whithorn's profile as a visitor destination, are furious at the omission.

But a VisitScotland spokeswoman confirmed there was extensive detail about the town deeper inside the website.

The Dumfries and Galloway map carries information on small towns such as New Galloway and Langholm. Other places listed on the map are Gretna, Dumfries, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Newton Stewart and Stranraer.

Janet Butterworth of the Whithorn Trust described the map omission as appalling.

"I got an email from a local accommodation provider saying have a look at the VisitScotland site," she said.

"It's just not good enough."

She added: "I sat four people down at a computer to see if any of them could find anything on Whithorn.

"Three of them used the interactive map which doesn't have Whithorn on it at all."

Mrs Butterworth said she had already lodged a complaint to VisitScotland via their Dumfries office.

Chairman of the Royal Burgh of Whithorn Community Council, Jim McCulloch was also furious.

"It's what usually happens. Our end of the world is usually forgotten," he said.

"It's absolutely disgraceful that we're not on it, especially as the Whithorn Trust is looking for more visitors to come to the town.

"We will certainly be bringing the matter up at the next meeting of the community council," he added.

Whithorn has been a centre of pilgrimage for centuries and Scottish monarchs throughout the ages were among those who sought it out, including Robert The Bruce.

But Mrs Butterworth added that it isn't just Whithorn that's been missed out altogether.

"There's nothing about Portpatrick either.

"And even under Wigtown, which is there, it gives the impression that there's just one cafe in the town. People planning their holidays will think that there's only one place to eat."

But a VisitScotland spokeswoman said people needed to look more closely. She said:

"Whithorn is covered well on the website with a full page of information on the town, its history and a choice of 16 accommodation providers in Whithorn to choose from.

"There is also a page dedicated to The Whithorn Story and a full page of information on the visitor centre.

"Visitors looking to book accommodation in Whithorn could visit the Travel Shop section of the website where each accommodation provider can be found via a more detailed Google map facility, in which Whithorn is clearly marked.

" welcomes all feedback from the industry and hope this information settles any concerns."


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