People love a mystery and they don't get much better than the Loch Ness Monster. So when tourist agency VisitBritain decided on Nessie as their mascot for promoting the Loch Ness area and beyond, it was a no-brainer.
Why that's? Because there is a monster in Loch Ness. Now at this point, sceptics will guffaw and splutter, but the Nessie Effect is one reason why some of their bank accounts are a bit bigger than they might have been.
You see, the large numbers of tourists filing through the exhibition centres and then coughing up for the boat cruises and souvenirs are lining the pockets of people who don't even believe there is a monster in Loch Ness. That must be a real weight on the conscience. It is certainly a weight on their wallets.
Then again, maybe this is all not so hypocritical. After all, some will subject their customers to their sceptical theories once they have them in the middle of the loch and they can't swim away! Do these tourists ever come back once their expectations about the monster are ruined by these people? I think, probably not.
Sure, some will claim tourist numbers are up. I say they could only have gone up after the depths of the Credit Crunch. I also argue the numbers would be higher if people were more positive about the creature they consign to mythology. In other words, the Nessie you will see promoting the cause of filling the coffers, will probably not be too far removed from the green, fluffy tat that inhabits the souvenir shops that line the loch.
To some extent, I agree with hoaxer, George Edwards - the real Nessie needs to be promoted more. But I don't agree with his methods of doing it via fake photographs. I say, take your stand and argue the case against less than convincing theories from the other side.
Most people will see nothing when they arrive at Loch Ness, some will see something that is readily explainable, others will see the monster in its various degrees of awe-inspiring splendour. Get along there, take in the scenery, enjoy the facilities and don't forget to take the lens cap off if Nessie puts in an appearance!
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