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Ballater is open for business

Press Release   •   Jul 02, 2015 12:14 BST

VisitScotland has joined with local businesses to remind visitors to Scotland that Ballater – the Jewel of the Cairngorms - is very much open for business this season following the devastating fire at the Old Royal Station in May.

Highland games, sporting competitions and a very special regal festival are just a few of the exciting events hoping to attract visitors into Ballater over the summer months.

The village suffered a blow earlier this year when a devastating fire ripped through Ballater’s Old Royal Station, leaving VisitScotland Information Centre (VIC) staff and a number of other businesses based within the Station, without premises. VisitScotland was fortunate enough to quickly secure alternate temporary accommodation within the Cairngorms National Park Association’s (CNPA) offices, also situated in Station Square. 

A visitor attraction in its own right, the popular Old Royal Station included a restored Victorian railway station containing displays detailing the 100-year history of its royal use, a unique royal waiting room built for Queen Victoria and a royal train carriage. Discussions are continuing over the potential rebuilding of the historic Old Royal Station.

Following the fire, the local community rallied round to help affected businesses get on their feet again and to reinforce the message that Ballater is open for business, a number of popular events will take place in the bustling Deeside village, including:

* Royal Deeside Golf Classic (Week of 27 July)
• Ballater Highland Games (13 August)
• Ballater Victoria Week (7-16 August)
• Etape Royale cycle sportive (27 September)

As well as these larger events, there are also community events taking place through the summer months, including farmers’ markets, craft fairs, traditional Scottish music evenings and film showings.

VisitScotland Regional Director, Philip Smith, said:
“Ballater is very much still open for business and we would expect it to be as busy as usual over the summer months. I would encourage people to drop into the VIC  - now housed at the CNPA offices – to speak to staff, get information and discover more about this beautiful and inspiring area.

“The village is a great place from which to explore the local area, including the Deeside Way, Loch Muick, Craigendarroch hill and Lochnagar. It is the perfect place to enjoy fishing, cycling, walking, horse riding and pony trekking, field sports, canoeing and kayaking and much more.

“We are confident that the varied line-up of events taking place in Ballater will attract the usual crowds of visitors and locals to experience the very best of Royal Deeside warmth and hospitality!”

Surrounded by the glorious countryside, Ballater is a picturesque Victorian village in the heart of Royal Deeside located in the Cairngorm National Park.

Lying eight miles along the River Dee to the west, its rich history and royal connections are world famous. Ballater is the nearest village to Balmoral Castle, one of the residences of the Royal Family, which explains the many ‘By Royal Appointment’ signs which can be seen on local shops and businesses. Close by is also Royal Lochnagar Distillery, which produces one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies.

This planned agricultural village dates back to the 1800s. A stroll around reveals a fascinating range of many speciality shops and friendly hotels and guest houses. A few miles to the south lies Loch Muick and the legendary mountain of ‘dark Lochnagar’ made famous by Lord Byron and Prince Charles, who wrote a children’s book about ‘The Old Man of Lochnagar’. Red deer, golden eagles and grouse can be easily spotted on the eight mile footpath around the loch.

Ballater Golf Club also boasts an 18-hole golf course situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Upper Deeside within a circle of hills and glorious hills making the golfing experience truly delightful.
For more information about Ballater, visit: www.visitroyaldeeside.com/ballater-in-royal-deeside

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
    • 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.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • 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)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland