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Hitting all the right notes

Press Release   •   Jan 04, 2017 12:09 GMT

(l-r) Lauren Halkerston, Retail Assistant, Paula Farrer, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Retail Manager, Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland.

The official shop of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has struck all the right notes for quality under the national tourism organisation’s customer experience scheme.

The annual military spectacle’s official store, located in Edinburgh, has been upgraded from a four to five star visitor attraction, the highest accolade in VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.

Earlier this year the shop was relocated to a Category B-listed building on Cockburn Street, the same building originally occupied by the Tattoo in the 1970s and 1980s. It provides a bright and spacious spot on the connection point between Edinburgh’s Old and New Town, making it a prime spot for tourists and visitors passing through the city.

Offering a wide range of Tattoo memorabilia, including scarfs, DVDs and exclusive Tattoo tartan products, it is also the hub for all Tattoo event information and ticket sales.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in August every year, and has become one of the main highlights of the festival season in the Scottish capital. Last year the showcase included a cast of more than 1,200 performers playing to an audience of 220,000. Tickets are now on sale at the store for this year’s performances.

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 were 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. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was graded as exceptional (five stars) for each section.

Brigadier David Allfrey, Producer and Chief Executive of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said:

“What a fabulous prize! We so work hard to make our show the best it can be and this absolutely includes our fantastic new shop. Edinburgh’s retail offer is hugely competitive and it is wonderful to be recognised by VisitScotland. It is huge fun to have so many people from all over the world coming to our new place. We are all so looking forward to 2017, our own show ‘Splash of Tartan’ and what we hope will hope be another extraordinary year for Scottish tourism in the round.”

Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said:

“The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a spectacular event in the capital’s festival calendar and we are delighted to award the attraction’s official store with our highest accolade for quality. As the shop face of a major highlight in the summer festival season, it is important that customers experience the same top-class service as visitors to the esplanade, and the new premises is a wonderful extension of the stunning visitor attraction.

“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 The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, visit

For more information on the VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, visit

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  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
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    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
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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.
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