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Five star operation

Press Release   •  Feb 07, 2017 10:29 GMT

One of Scotland’s oldest museums has been upgraded to a five star visitor attraction by the national tourism body.

Surgeons’ Hall Museums, first opened in 1832, has been increased from a four to five star visitor attraction, the highest accolade in VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.

Originally developed as a teaching museum for students of medicine, the museum explores Edinburgh’s unique contribution to surgical practice with collections including bone and tissue specimens, artefacts and works of art.

Owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the attraction consists of three collections – The Wohl Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and The Dental Collection.

The museum was renovated over an 18 month spell in 2014/15 before a grand reopening by HRH Prince Philip in September 2015. The latest grading from VisitScotland is the first the museum has received since the renovation.

The VisitScotland five star grading ensures that all areas of the attraction have an exceptional level of quality, from the strength of the website to the presentation of the building and layout.

During the visit a number of criteria was graded by the VisitScotland’s Quality and Tourism Advisor including the appearance and knowledge of staff, presentation and range of products and the layout of the shop floor. Surgeons’ Hall Museums was graded as exceptional for each.

Chris Henry, Director of Heritage at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said:

“It was always our intention to provide a first class visitor experience at Surgeons’ Hall Museums and this award recognises the hard work that all the staff put in to ensure that any visitor to the museum gets an enjoyable, enlightening visit.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“We are delighted to award Surgeons’ Hall Museums with our highest accolade for quality. The rating is testament to the brilliant work being done by the museums’ staff to create a wonderfully unique visitor experience which now joins a number of other fantastic five star attractions on offer in the capital.

“It is even more fitting, in the Year of History, Heritage and Archeology, that such an historically significant attraction has achieved a five star Quality Assurance award. From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the year-long programme will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.”

“Our Quality Assurance scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”

Developed and improved for over 30 years, the Quality Assurance scheme is delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer valuable business advice and support. The scheme is not just about driving standards; it aims to help businesses reach their full potential so they can reap the benefits and secure their success. That in turn delivers benefits for the economy of their region and for Scotland’s tourism industry.

For more on Surgeons’ Hall Museums, visit http://museum.rcsed.ac.uk

For more information on the VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, visit www.visitscotland.org

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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    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