Follow VisitScotland

Life’s an adventure in Dumfries & Galloway

Press release   •   Feb 02, 2018 10:47 GMT

The announcement has been welcomed by the industry and tourism experts throughout Dumfries & Galloway.

ADVENTURE tourism in Dumfries & Galloway is set to receive a major boost after securing a bid to host a major international conference in 2019.

Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre and the University of the West of Scotland have been successful in their joint bid to host the International Adventure Conference in June 2019.

For its 7th year, the conference, which is led by the Adventure Tourism Research Association, will bring around 100 delegates who work in the adventure tourism and adventure recreation industries to Dumfries & Galloway to help shine the spotlight on the region and its growing reputation for adventure sports activities.

Adventure tourism has been identified as an area for growth within Scotland. Tourism Scotland 2020, the national tourism strategy, highlights ‘activities and adventure’ as a sector with real potential and already worth an estimated £759 million to the economy.

The venue for the June 2019 event is Laggan Outdoor, Gatehouse of Fleet, which recently opened its new £1.9million conference and events venue, GG’s Yard.

The outdoor activity centre will work in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland and local businesses and partners to develop a conference programme that will tackle key issues and themes affecting the industry, and involve adventure tourism providers, attractions and accommodation on offer in the region.

A new film has been produced to coincide with the successful bid. The film which highlights the broad range of activities and outdoor sports on offer in Dumfries & Galloway has been produced by Airborne in partnership with VisitScotland.

Duncan McConchie, Director of Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to host the 2019 International Adventure Conference. We want the event to explore the opportunities and benefits of adventure tourism and we are working with our partners throughout the region to develop a programme that will reflect the coastal, hill, loch and forest landscape of Dumfries & Galloway.

“The conference offers a real opportunity for the industry to work together to help shine the international spotlight on our fantastic and diverse region.”

Dr Steve Taylor, Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, University of the Highlands and Islands said:This is a fantastic opportunity for Laggan Outdoors and tourism businesses in Dumfries & Galloway to put the region on the map and help highlight the wealth of adventure experiences on offer.

“We look forward to working with Laggan Outdoors and the University of the West of Scotland on developing the programme for the conference which will bring leading experts in adventure tourism from around the world to Dumfries & Galloway to discuss this increasingly important industry.”

Dr Sandro Carnicelli, Senior Lecturer in Events and Tourism at the University of the West of Scotland, said: We are delighted to work with Laggan Outdoors and Global Association Partners in this exciting and growing field of adventure tourism and outdoor recreation. For us, even more special is bringing the event back to Scotland where it all started. We strongly believe in the potential of adventure tourism in Dumfries & Galloway where the beautiful landscapes make the region the perfect stage to discuss new ideas and the development of this field.”

Paula Ward, Regional Director of VisitScotland, said: “The stunning inland and coastal landscapes of Dumfries & Galloway make it a perfect natural playground for a vast range of outdoors activities. From the easily-accessible outdoor activity centres at Laggan Outdoor and Galloway Activity Centre to its world-class mountain biking trails and vast rugged landscapes, there really is no better destination to experience adventure sports.

“It is fantastic news that Dumfries & Galloway will host this major event – bringing 100 delegates from around the world to say within the region for at least three nights will have a major impact on the local region and help increase awareness of Dumfries & Galloway to adventure sports enthusiasts.

“I wish Laggan Outdoors and partners every success with the conference and I’m confident that the event will provide a great boost to adventure tourism in the region, and the local economy.”

For more information on the conference, visit

For more information on the Adventure Tourism Research Association, visit:

For more information on Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, visit:

The film can be viewed here:

A photograph taken at GG’s Yard at Laggan Outdoor has been issued with this email. From left to right: VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward, Duncan McConchie Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, Richard Hermon from Galloway Activity Centre, Dr Steve Taylor, Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, University of the Highlands and Islands, Caroline Mackenzie from Global Association Partners and Dr Sandro Carnicelli, Senior Lecturer in Events and Tourism at the University of the West of Scotland.

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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • 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
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • 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
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.