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Blooming Marvellous!

Press Release   •  Dec 14, 2016 10:51 GMT

(l-r) Paula Bushell, Head of Marketing and Communication, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Neil Cummings, Scotland Regional Business Manager at the Horticultural Trade Association; Liz Stewart, Development Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society.

Scotland’s £240 million* garden tourism industry is set to bloom further after a £30,000 funding boost from VisitScotland.

National garden tourism body Discover Scottish Gardens, which officially launched in 2015 with the help of VisitScotland’s Growth Fund, has received a second round of funding to help develop plans to exhibit at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2017 and to embark on an innovative digital campaign. 

Since its inception, Discover Scottish Gardens has attracted 130 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide, working together to showcase the country’s outstanding horticulture.

Created out of an industry demand to work collectively to raise the profile of Scottish gardens both nationally and internationally, the tourism group secured £30,000 in its first year, which contributed towards a launch campaign aimed at visitors to Scotland.

Discover Scottish Gardens has ambitious plans with its ‘Nurturing Growth’ campaign, with the further funding enabling members to take important next steps to raise the importance of garden tourism. Funding will contribute to 12 months of activity, which will include video creation utilising state-of-the-art techniques as the basis of a dynamic digital advertising campaign and attendance at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Catherine Erskine, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said: “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland again to boost garden tourism. In our first year, we made great strides in encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries. We hope that this new campaign will raise our profile even further and entice garden lovers at Chelsea as well as Londoners and those living in the South East of England to visit Scotland. As part of our exhibition creative idea, we will quite literally be putting gardens on a giant map of Scotland.”

Discover Scottish Gardens members include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Trust for Scotland, Horticultural Trade Association, Scotland’s Gardens, Attadale Gardens and Cambo Estate.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland boasts beautiful gardens the length and breadth of the country and this award from the VisitScotland Growth Fund will help provide these attractions with an exciting new marketing platform. The Growth Fund is all about encouraging Scottish tourism businesses to work together to promote sectors or destinations, so we are delighted to help the national network with a campaign I am sure will provide a major boost for horticultural tourism in this country.”

On average gardens in Scotland have welcomed 658,000 visitors each year since 2013*. Average annual total spend has been £240 million since 2013*.

For more information on the VisitScotland Growth Fund, go to www.visitscotland.org

For more about Discover Scottish Gardens, visit www.discoverscottishgardens.org

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Notes to Editors

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  • 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.
  • 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.
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      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
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