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Dumfries & Galloway is a ‘Hook’ for visitors

Press Release   •   Sep 01, 2017 12:57 BST

The Cabinet Secretary meets the team at the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust in Dumfries, which is due to open in 2018. Credit Jessica Lee

VisitScotland has welcomed this week’s announcement from the Scottish Government that historic sites in Dumfries & Galloway have seen an overall rise in visitor numbers.

Caerlaverock Castle, Cardoness Castle and New Abbey Corn Mill are among the 37 properties looked after by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) that welcomed nearly 43,000 visitors between April and July 2017, an overall rise of 41%.

The announcement was made by Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop on a tour of the region on Wednesday (August 30th).

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward said:

These latest figures are fantastic news for Dumfries & Galloway and show that people are really engaging with the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology and taking the opportunity to delve into the past and take part in the some of the wide-ranging events and activities taking place to help drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism in every corner of Scotland.”

The tour took in the 7stanes mountain biking centre at the Forest of Ae and the five star VisitScotland visitor attraction Devil’s Porridge Museum at Eastriggs. Paula accompanied the Cabinet Secretary to Caerlaverock Castle and Moat Brae House in Dumfries, which is due to open in 2018.

Paula added: “I was delighted to be part of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs visit to Dumfries & Galloway and to help shine the spotlight on some of the greatest assets that the region has to offer.

“The opening of Moat Brae House next year in the 2018 Year of Young People will offer a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the birthplace of Peter Pan and create new and valuable experiences for young Scots and their families and visitors.”

“The project to create a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling demonstrates a real commitment to further enhancing our region’s tourism offering and attracting more visitors to Dumfries & Galloway. Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment to ensure that current provision meets future demand.

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.”

For more information on the Scottish Government announcement, visit:

For more information on Moat Brae, visit

For more information on the 7stanes mountain biking centre at the Forest of Ae, visit

For more information on the Devil’s Porridge Museum, visit:

For more information on Dumfries & Galloway, visit:

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
  • 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.
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  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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  • 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