WELCOME to the most beautiful country in the world, as voted for by readers of Rough Guides. Announcing that Scotland had won the title, the publishers of the travel guides picked out our beaches, lochs and castles for particular praise. In a beautiful world, it is quite an accolade.

The hope now is that the title will attract even more visitors to Scotland, and to some extent the tourism industry will be pushing at an open door. One upside of the weakness of the pound has been that Scotland is becoming an ever more attractive place for foreign visitors, who will come to see the sights but spend big as well.

This can only be good news on the whole, but tourism comes with some downsides too. The recent boom in visitors to Skye, for instance, has been welcome in one way, but it has shown too that we have to ensure that the necessary facilities and infrastructure are in place to cope with them - and that needs investment, including perhaps a tourist tax on hotel bedrooms to help pay for it all.

Everyone who lives in Scotland also has a personal responsibility to fulfill. Rough Guides have quite rightly pointed to our wonderful lochs and beaches, but often our countryside is marred by litter, particularly at the most popular visitor attractions.

Scotland has been named the most beautiful country in the world, but we all have a duty to ensure that it stays that way.