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On track for a First Class service

Press release   •   Oct 10, 2017 11:28 BST

Liz Buchanan MBE, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, with Vic Michel, Chairman of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. Photographer: Colin Hattersley.

A popular Falkirk family attraction has become the newest addition to VisitScotland’s Information Partner Programme.

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway has joined the innovative scheme which is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors for their town or region by providing first-class information to visitors.

As part of the official accreditation, staff within the attraction will provide information and inspiration to visitors by actively promoting their local area and the services offered by local businesses.

As well as joining the VIP Scheme, Station Buffet at Bo’ness Station has helped the attraction to obtain VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best award. The Taste Our Best award recognises businesses who are committed to serving and promoting high quality Scottish produce.

The attraction gives visitors the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of this heritage railway, travel by steam train and explore Scotland’s largest railway museum.

Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme has been very popular with over1500 accommodation providers, visitor attractions and social enterprises all joining up to do their bit to ensure visitors receive first-class information about the region and Scotland as a whole.

Vic Michel, Chairman of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, operators of Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, said: “We joined VisitScotland’s Information Partner Programme as it is a progressive, innovative organisation with a dynamic workforce – known across the world for its expertise.

"Our visitor feedback clearly shows that one of our strongest attributes is our friendliness. Naturally our staff and volunteers spend a lot of time talking to our visitors and giving them information on how to make the most of their visit to the railway and museum as well as the rest of the region. Having visited many of the local places ourselves we are happy to pass on our personal recommendations.

"Joining the VIP programme means that we have been officially recognised for this effort and will keep offering the best and most interactive experience we can at our steam heritage railway and museum in Bo’ness.”

Liz Buchanan MBE, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “The team at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway have been providing a warm welcome and helpful advice to visitors for many years, and now by joining our VIP scheme, they are highlighting this to visitors as part of their service, letting them know that they can expect friendly advice and local knowledge on all the other great things to see and do during their stay.

“I’m delighted that the Railway is now also displaying a Taste Our Best award, and giving visitors another good reason to make the trip – quality, locally sourced produce served at the Station Buffet. My congratulations to everyone at the Railway for these great achievements.”

The programme forms part of VisitScotland’s focus on information which also includes a global online community to allow Scots and those who love Scotland to bring alive the streets, characters and landscapes of our country.

The scheme is open to all Quality Assured businesses, as well as community groups, local authority-operated library services and social enterprises. VisitScotland provides the partner sites with official signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive an excellent standard of information about the area and the rest of Scotland. For more information, visit

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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:
    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
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  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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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.
  • 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 or join the conversation at #HHA2017