Inverness is a beautiful city in the Scottish Highlands and often high on the wish list of places that tourists wish to see in Scotland. Of course, the surrounding rural scenery is a big draw for visitors. Loch Ness, home of the Loch Ness Monster is situated just outside the city while the sparsely populated surrounding area provides a fantastic outdoor playground for adventurers, climbers, runners, cyclists and kayakers.
Over the last few years, Inverness' enviable location has continued to promote growth for the city with new industry moving to the area. Whilst tourism remains important to the Inverness economy, the energy sector can also explain why Inverness was, at one point early in the 21st Century, the fastest growing city in Europe. Whilst Aberdeen on the North-East coast continues to be the 'oil capital' of Scotland and indeed, the UK; Inverness could possibly claim 'second-city status' in terms of its importance to the energy sector. Numerous enterprises in both the renewable and non-renewable sectors have set up offices here.
With this in mind, it is easy to understand the potential for increased air traffic to Inverness airport. A number of new flight routes have just been announced for next year and Inverness can now state that it is a fully fledged international airport. There have long been flights to other parts of the UK, as well as regular services to the Scottish Islands, but now regular flights to other European countries have been announced.
A particularly exciting development for locals in Inverness has been the announcement that there will be regular flights to Geneva next winter. This will allow Highlanders easy access to many of the world-class snow sport resorts around the Swiss city in both Switzerland and France. Of course, given the great snow conditions experienced by Scotland over the last few years, perhaps the Scottish Highlands could prove tempting for some skiers from the Alps!
Whilst Scotland may not yet compete in a snow sports sense with her Alpine neighbors, the Highlands will certainly prove a draw to visitors from continental Europe. Of course, with this new Inverness-Geneva route locations will not only have a new ease of travel but can expect to welcome visitors who may previously viewed Inverness as being a little difficult to visit.
Grenville Johnston, chairman of HIAL, which operates Inverness Airport said: “We have an opportunity to promote the Highlands and its many winter attractions to a Swiss audience and support our own tourism industry. We look forward to working with Flybe, VisitScotland and others to help promote this new service. ”
With many quality hotels and other accommodation options open to visitors, it is easy to see why a short break in Inverness will prove very popular to visitors using these new aviation routes.