Approval was given by the Highland Council yesterday for both Jacobite Cruises and the Loch Ness Centre developments to go ahead near the Clansman Hotel.
More details are HERE.
Now I hoped that only one at worst would be approved especially considering both sites are only a few hundred yards apart. But in a typical example of local government inefficieny, they pick both. Clearly (to me at least) this means that one of them will eventually go under as there will be too few customers spread over such a short distance. Competition dictates one will win in the end and millions would have been wasted as the other folds. Of course, I may be wrong on that score but we shall see how this pans out in the years ahead. My bet is on the one with the most cash reserves to sustain loss leading products in undercutting the competitor.
One presumes there are two reasons why the Highland Council choose both. The first is to create local jobs in this time of economic uncertainty. But that will be a temporary effect when we consider the other reason and that is increased tourist numbers to the Highlands. Once again, economic duress and high oil prices dictate that more people will currently stay in the UK for their holidays.
That too will be temporary. As people's disposable income recovers and oil prices stabilise, they will be off once again to foreign climes and our two cheek-by-jowl centres will be at each other's throats slashing prices to the bone and laying off staff in a desperate dash for a dwindling customer base.
Political expediency versus economic common sense. When did the two ever meet? Of course, there may be a third reason they were both chosen and that is a lawsuit from the losing party because their plan was just as good as the other one. That won't happen now.
Meanwhile, the third big player in the area, the Nessieland Castle Monster Centre, perhaps fearing that some of that lovely lolly may be slipping from their grasp, have jumped on the development bandwagon and submitted their own plans:
And all this during a time when Nessie sightings are down and Nessie skepticism is high which proves to me that the main reason for all this is to cash in on a temporary increase in visitor numbers. I for one will avoid all three like the plague and support smaller businesses in the area.
Meanwhile, the beautiful shore line of Loch Ness is blighted just that bit more in the pursuit of profit ...