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One for the books

Press Release   •   Sep 15, 2017 13:46 BST

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward (centre) welcomes Wigtown Book Festival operational director Anne Barclay (right of centre) and volunteers to the iKnow programme

WIGTOWN Book Festival, which gets underway in Scotland’s National Book Town next week, has become the 100th business in Dumfries & Galloway to sign up to VisitScotland’s Information Partner (VIP) programme.

The festival, which now has permanent all-year-round premises on Wigtown Main Street, has joined an exclusive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) by committing to actively promote the local area and services offered by local businesses.

Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign and harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.

Wigtown Book Festival opens on September 22 with more than 200 events and activities taking place across the ten days of literary celebration. Supported by a group of more than 150 volunteers, the festival welcomes over 200 authors every year. This year’s programme includes Judy Murray, Mary Contini and the recent winner and first woman winner of The McIlvanney Prize, Denise Mina.

The festival is the 100th partner to join the VIP programme in Dumfries & Galloway. From campsites, B&Bs and self-catering apartments to five-star visitor attractions such as the Devil’s Porridge Museum and The Belted Galloway Visitor Centre, and social enterprises such as the Dalbeattie Visitor Information Point, the programme includes partners in every part of the region, from Langholm to Stranraer, Sanquhar to Kirkcudbright and covers all types of tourism business.

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward said: We are delighted to welcome the Wigtown Book Festival to our VIP programme and proud to reach this important milestone in Dumfries & Galloway.

VisitScotland’sVIP programme aims to ensure that all tourism providers can be local ambassadors and help provide information, assistance and advice on all there is to see and do here.This follows a growing trend among consumers to use online resources to plan their trips and we now have partners throughout the country providing high quality information and advice to visitors with whom they interact. This month, Wigtown Book Festival will welcome visitors from far and wide to enjoy its acclaimed programme. We look forward to working with Wigtown Book Festival and our partners across the region to ensure that visitors receive the best local information from a variety of providers.”

Anne Barclay from Wigtown Book Festival said:“Our volunteers have a wealth of local knowledge and we realise how important it is to share this with our visitors to enhance their experience and help showcase the tourism offer in the area. Wigtown and the wider region have a host of things to see and do for visitors and we have a real sense of pride in being part of this exciting scheme.”

The VIP 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.

It ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign, harnessing the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of staff at the attractions helping visitors make the most of their trip to Scotland.

The VisitScotland Information Partner programme 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 first-class information about the local region and about Scotland as a whole. For more information, visitwww.visitscotland.org

For more information on Wigtown Book Festival, visit http://www.wigtownbookfestival.com/

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