Visitor boost needs to be met with investment

There has been much recent talk of pushing the tourist industry in the county, particularly in the rural and coastal north.

It is a plan that nearly everyone can get behind as a good way of bringing more money and jobs to the area.

The newly-revamped Northumberland Tourism, which took a huge hit upon the decline of regional development agency OneNorthEast, has started to market the county once more, attracting new visitors.

While this is all welcome, it must be remembered that the more tourists that come, the more infrastructure is needed to support them.

The dualling of the A1 is a major scheme to this end with clear economic benefits, but less glamourous issues like parking matter just as much.

Most residents will appreciate that while their towns and villages get busier, many of the services and facilities they have would not exist without the tourists that make them viable.

But if tourists are persuaded they don’t want to return, residents are getting annoyed and businesses are losing potential customers, then something needs to be done.