Follow VisitScotland

House of Gold

Press Release   •  Dec 29, 2016 12:23 GMT

(l-r) Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, with Susan and Paul Johnson.

They came to Edinburgh from Australia on a foreign home-exchange that was meant to last just 5 months – but fell in love with the city and ended up staying and running their own B&B.

Now, just over two years later, Paul and Susan Johnson have struck ‘gold’ with VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme.

Their bed and breakfast, Barony House in Mayfield Gardens, has been awarded the Four Star Gold status by the national tourism organisation’s customer experience scheme.

It is in recognition of the extremely high standards of visitor accommodation, while the ‘gold’ part of the award represents the continuing attainment of outstanding customer service and hospitality.

It has been double success for the couple who last month were celebrating their win at the Regional Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards where they picked up Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House in the Lothians and Borders.

Barony House offers five bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and a bedroom with a separate private bathroom. The B&B is proud to have a Taste Our Best award, for its use of local and quality Scottish produce, is a member of the Golfers Welcome Scheme and is part of the VIP (VisitScotland Information Partner) programme to enhance the visitor experience.

Paul Johnson, owner of Barony House, said:

“On receipt of the Visit Scotland Gold award after our last inspection, my wife and I were in tears.

“We take the responsibility of running a B&B very seriously and we put our hearts into ensuring every visitor has a genuine personal experience with us. To have our efforts recognised with an upgrade in our star rating was an emotional moment and we want to thank everyone for their support.

“We will always strive to be the best we can be and treat everyone we meet with love and respect.”

Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said:

“Congratulations to Barony House for receiving a Four Star Gold award in the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme. To receive a Gold standard in just two years of running their B&B is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the high standards of experience they deliver to new and returning visitors.

“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.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.

Launched in September 2013, Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between the national tourism organisation and the Scottish Government. Assessors rate the overall eating experience, the extent to which Scottish produce (at least 40%) is used and promoted, and staff knowledge of the produce on the menu and its provenance.

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

- ENDS -

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
  • 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


      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016