Follow VisitScotland

​Borders Railway picks up prestigious travel award

Press Release   •   Sep 29, 2017 12:52 BST

Travel writer Vivien Devlin with Lindley Kirkpatrick of ScotRail with the Borders Railway's British Guild of Travel Writers award. Photo: Kenneth Scott

The railway was nominated for the Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project 2016 by travel writer Vivien Devlin and came out on top at a ceremony at The Savoy Hotel in London.

The award was presented to ScotRail at Tweedbank Station as the railway celebrated its second birthday in September.

The British Guild of Travel Writers is regarded as the leading organisation for travel media professionals in the UK.

Vivien said: “The vision, development and construction of the Borders Railway is an extraordinary achievement - the revival of a sustainable transport service connecting people and places.

“Most importantly, this is a vital, accessible tourism destination initiative for visitors to explore this area of the country.”

ScotRail Alliance Borders Railway Programme Executive Lindley Kirkpatrick said: “We’re delighted the Borders Railway has picked this prestigious award. The Borders Railway has been huge success, opening up a wealth of opportunities for the area.

"We look forward to continuing our close work with the local communities, businesses and stakeholders to support the vision in making the Borders region a great place to live, work, study and visit.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “It is great to hear the Borders Railway has received the title of Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project 2016 thanks to Vivien Devlin’s excellent nomination.

“The railway has certainly made significant changes to tourism in the Borders, making it easier than ever to access the wide variety of attractions the area has to offer and helping to create jobs.

“The STEAM tourism figures issued earlier this year highlight the major boost the Borders Railway has provided, with visitor spending 16 per cent up in the first six months of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015 before the railway opened.”

Riddell Graham, Director of Partnerships at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that the Borders Railway has received this prestigious award. From breathtaking historic attractions to unique shops, accommodation and eateries, visitors have been hopping on board in their thousands to experience all that Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders have to offer.

“The railway has been a phenomenal success and this award recognises the attention it has captured around the world. Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure the current provision meets future demand, and the success of the Borders Railway shows just how important this is.”

Notes to Editors

Images are available at SBC’s Flickr page.

More information on the Borders Railway is available at

For more information contact the Communications and Marketing team: 01835 826632 or

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 or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • 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 or join the conversation at #HHA2017