Dunnottar Castle has distanced itself from a luxury hotel proposal, set to be discussed at the SNP party conference this weekend (28 November).
The historic site on the Aberdeenshire coast currently attracts 140,000 visitors a year, therefore leading its owners – the Pearson family – to believe it can continue operating in its usual manner.
A statement issued by the castle highlighted the “stumbling blocks” that would become apparent if redeveloping the site.
The statement said: “Contrary to some recent media reports there are no plans to convert the castle into a high-end hotel in the style of Spain’s paradores.
“As I am sure you will agree, its status as a scheduled ancient monument, not to mention the substantial conversion costs, might prove to be stumbling blocks.”
The proposals are part of a drive from the Scottish government to transform castles dwindling in profitability into high-end boutique hotels, based on the Spanish Paradores model.
Scottish tourism leaders are understood to have met with Spanish diplomats in attempts to fully understand the Paradores Nacionales scheme.
However, Dunnottar remained adamant that it will continue to act as a “key visitor attraction” for both locals and “tourists from around the world”.
The statement added: “Whilst any proposals that are designed to increase inward investment are to be applauded, the majesty and history of the existing managed ruins at Dunnottar already draw large numbers to the North East with the castle welcoming more than 140,000 visitors last year.”