COO-rious visitors to the Scottish Borders will receive a warm welcome when they arrive in the region in August.
One of VisitScotland’s distinctive herd of Highland Cow vans – or coo vans – will be making a special appearance at Tweedbank Railway Station on Sunday 13th August to meet passengers arriving off the Borders Railway.
The visit by the national tourism organisation’s outreach information team coincides with the arrival of the Black Five steam locomotive as part of its special trip on a route that takes in two of Scotland’s Great Scenic Rail Routes for the very first time.
The special steam experience is being operated by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, a charity which owns and maintains the former British Rail coaches. It is the first time that passengers can board a steam train in West Lothian and Fife to cross the Forth Rail Bridge and travel over the new Borders Railway.
The arrival of the coo-van and coo-visers comes at a busy time for the team as they travel the length and breadth of the country providing inspiration and information at events, visitor attractions and tourism hotspots.
They will be on hand to meet and greet passengers to the railway station alongside Borders Railway Ambassadors from Scottish Borders Council to offer tips and advice on how to make the most of their visit in the Scottish Borders.
Lynn Jack, Head of Information & Quality at VisitScotland, said: “The coo vans are part of VisitScotland’s strategy to provide inspiration to visitors in new and innovative ways and in do so extend a ‘personal touch’ to outreach marketing activity, passing on distinctive information about things to see and do throughout the country.
“Our team are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Tweedbank Railway Station and helping to ensure that they make the most of all that there is to see and do in the Scottish Borders.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “The Council is delighted that VisitScotland’s coo van and outreach team will be on hand to offer advice and help to the hundreds of passengers who will be on each of the four steam trains arriving at Galashiels or Tweedbank in August.
“The Council will also have four of its Borders Railway Ambassadors at the two stations. In their distinctive red uniforms, the Ambassadors will aim to give the very best first impression on tourists arriving in the Scottish Borders by offering useful information and advice and helping visitors to make the most of their visits to Galashiels or Tweedbank.
“I know groups such as Energise Galashiels have been working hard to ensure the town benefits from the economic opportunities offered by the railway, and this is an ideal chance to show what Galashiels has to offer.
“Tourism is valued at more than £70million to the Borders economy, and supports thousands of jobs, so ensuring these passengers enjoy their time in the area, experience some of our great local tourism operators and return is vital.”
For more information on the rail experiences and add-on ticketing offers to Abbotsford House, Melrose and the hop-on hop-off bus tour of the Scottish Borders, please visit: http://www.srps.org.uk/railtours/rt-170806.htm
For more information on Scotland’s Great Rail Journeys, visit: www.visitscotland.com/see-do/tours/railway/great-rail-journeys/
For further information contact:
Amelia Whittaker, VisitScotland Regional Corporate Press Officer
T: 01750 723806 M: 07770284418 E: firstname.lastname@example.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:
- 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
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- 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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- 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) 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