TOURISM businesses in Dumfries & Galloway are gearing up for a busy summer ahead as they open for the tourist season.
VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson is looking ahead to a season packed with exciting events and activities.
He said: “It is an exciting time for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway at the moment. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of the region all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy. There are some exciting firsts for the region this year, celebrating everything from the region’s outstanding natural larder to its unique heritage and breathtaking scenery.
“The inaugural Wild Film Festival took place in Dumfries in March, celebrating the natural world through film, photography, topical discussion and music. It represented a real commitment to further enhancing our region’s tourism offering and attracting more visitors to the region which is renowned for its open spaces, dark skies and growing reputation for wildlife tourism.
“In August, the World Gold Panning Championships come to Moffat, the first time they have been held in Scotland since 1992. In September, the first ever Dark Sky Park Conference to be held in Europe will be hosted by Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere at Cally Palace in the Gatehouse of Fleet and represents a massive opportunity for the region to continue to capitalise on its dark skies tourism potential.
“As well as these new events, the region’s outstanding natural larder and famous literary links continue to be celebrated at the Kirkcudbright Food Festival and Wigtown Book Festival which are going from strength to strength. The first ever Stranraer Oyster Festival is being planned for September, which will celebrate the local produce and coastal heritage of Stranraer, including Scotland’s only wild, native oyster fishery in Loch Ryan.
2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and there are many events and taking place in Dumfries & Galloway to mark this theme. These include the Eden Festival in June and the Knockengorroch World Festival in May.
Doug said: “2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories. An exciting programme of events in Dumfries & Galloway will help encourage visitors to discover some of the hidden gems and fascinating stories that they perhaps weren’t previously aware of in the region.
“The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is also focussing on encouraging millennial Scots to connect with the Spirit of Scotland through Trad music. I would encourage people to discover the many amazing and unique Trad concerts and festivals taking place in Dumfries & Galloway this year, including the Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival in July.”
“Through VisitScotland’s Spirit of Scotland global campaign, we aim to raise the profile and reputation of the region as an outstanding place to visit, and to invest, live and work in. A new film we produced in 2016 has been viewed more than 20,000 times and shared across our industry networks. Our latest spring campaign also focussed on encouraging visitors to take a road trip and direct mail packs which highlighted the Galloway Tourist Route, 92 miles stretching from Gretna to Ayr which takes in the beauty of Galloway Forest Park, landed on the doorsteps of 31,000 households in March.
“I would encourage people living in Dumfries & Galloway, as well as visitors to the region, to join our VisitScotland onlinecommunity and help spread the Spirit of Scotland with others. The online community gives people the chance to share their memorable moments, places, people and experiences from Dumfries & Galloway to inspire visitors from near and far to visit.
“There is also plenty for the family to enjoy this summer in Dumfries & Galloway, from outdoor pursuits at Laggan Outdoor and the arrival of the first ever Giant Swing Drop at Galloway Activity Centre, 7stanes Dalbeattie Mountain Biking Centre to the unspoiled beaches at Sandyhills Bay and the adventures to be had at Drumlanrig Castle and Caerlaverock Castle.
“I hope residents, businesses and visitors alike have a great season ahead and discover the delights on offer in Dumfries & Galloway.”
To find out more about the VisitScotland online community, visit:
To find out more about the region, visit:
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- 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.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- 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
- 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