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Press Release   •   Sep 28, 2017 09:57 BST

Paul Ralph, Access and Inclusion Director at Euan’s Guide, Jim Clarkson, Regional Partnerships Director at VisitScotland, and Euan MacDonald, the website’s co-founder, at Verdant Works in Dundee. Picture: Fraser Band

A popular review website which aims to “remove the fear of the unknown” for disabled visitors to Scotland has been awarded £25,000 by the national tourism organisation.

Euan’s Guide, which was founded by wheelchair user Euan MacDonald and his sister Kiki in 2013, received the grant through the VisitScotland Growth Fund to help create new downloadable e-guides for Dundee and Fife.

And in Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the website has been given a further £5,000 by Historic Environment Scotland to help produce a guide highlighting the ‘unexpectedly good access’ to some of the country’s most striking historic attractions.

The guides will feature accessible visitor attractions, accommodation and restaurants as well as contain information on accessible transport. According to latest figures*, tourism parties in which at least one member was identified as disabled contributed approximately £1.3 billion to Scotland’s economy.

Euan, who has Motor Neurone Disease, was at the announcement of the award at Verdant Works in Dundee, along with Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland’s Regional Partnerships Director for Dundee, and Paul Ralph, the website’s Access and Inclusion Director.

Run by Dundee Heritage Trust, Verdant Works is a former textile mill which is now a five-star visitor attraction and is currently home to the Great Tapestry of Scotland Part II.

Euan’s Guide will use targeted social media campaigns to promote its new guides to disabled people, their families and their friends within day-trip distance as well as in the North-East of England.

And as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, they will enlist the help of young disabled people to share their knowledge of the accessible destinations featured.

Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “We hope that these new guides will give local and visiting disabled people, their families and friends great enjoyment as they discover Scotland as an accessible destination. We are thrilled to have received this Growth Fund award from VisitScotland and are looking forward to showcasing the best that Scotland has to offer in accessible tourism.”

Jim Clarkson, Regional Partnerships Director at VisitScotland, said: “It is our aim to make tourism inclusive and accessible for all, so we are delighted to make this Growth Fund award to Euan’s Guide, who regularly work with our Quality Assurance advisors on accessibility requirements for tourism businesses.

“The website is already a valuable resource for disabled visitors and the new downloadable guides to Dundee, Fife and to Scotland’s historic attractions will help people make an informed choice about what to visit, where to stay and where to dine.”

Dr Paul Jennings, Executive Director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “We are very pleased that the announcement of the Growth Fund award to Euan’s Guide has been held at Verdant Works which is 100 per cent disabled accessible. The new downloadable guides for Dundee and Fife will be an extremely valuable resource to disabled visitors to Scotland.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to support Euan’s Guide on this project, and look forward to collaborating on creating the downloadable guides. We continue to improve access at our sites and properties and welcome the advice and expertise of Euan’s Guide to help ensure the historic environment is enjoyed by everyone.”

The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth and ensure that visitors experience the true Spirit of Scotland. To be eligible for a Growth Fund award, applicants must place a strong emphasis on digital marketing and the creation of digital content assets. They are also encouraged to align themselves with Scotland’s themed years, including the 2017 Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology.

For more information about Euan’s Guide, go to www.euansguide.com  

To find out more about the VisitScotland Growth Fund, visit www.visitscotland.org/growthfund

To find out more about accessible tourism in Scotland, go to:

www.visitscotland.org/accessible-tourism

*Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) 2015 and Great Britain Day Visitor Survey (GBDVS) 2015

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017