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Parliament visitor experience wins vote of confidence from VisitScotland

Press release   •   Sep 28, 2018 08:30 BST

THE visitor experience at the Scottish Parliament has been awarded one of the highest quality assurance accolades from the national tourism organisation VisitScotland.

The five-star tourism award was achieved by the Parliament in recognition of exceptional customer service and the high-quality facilities on offer.

The building, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage site, runs popular and highly praised behind the scenes tours of the complex. Free tours reveal the fascinating history of the building, its stunning and iconic architecture and explain how the Parliament works. Visitors can also watch the Parliament in action during sitting days.

Throughout the year The Scottish Parliament offers much for visitors to see and do including travelling exhibitions such as World Press Photo as well as unprecedented access to the building for four days during the Festival of Politics in October.

Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Ken Macintosh MSP, said: This award is a terrific achievement and a real recognition of the effort our staff put in to making the Scottish Parliament such a warm and welcoming place to visit.

“We are proud to welcome thousands of visitors each week from right across Scotland and beyond and I hope this award will encourage even more people to visit the Parliament and experience it for themselves.

The Scottish Parliament is a unique destination. Not only will you be at the heart of Scottish politics, you can enjoy a free exhibition or just relax with a coffee in an architecturally inspiring building in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. Our doors are open and a warm 5-star welcome awaits you.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: Congratulations to the Scottish Parliament on this fantastic achievement. The Scottish Parliament is a truly spectacular building that offers a fantastic insight into the history and politics of our country.

“It is great to see the hard work and commitment of all staff involved in welcoming visitors to this historic building being recognised with this prestigious award.

“Our Quality Assurance scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine. The scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door - it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business, driving-up quality and creating jobs.

“Delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”

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.

The Scottish Parliament also has a café, shop and creche for visitors; runs specialist photography, art and architecture tours; and has a permanent exhibition ‘Parliament for the People’ open all year round. More information about them and also how to visit the Scottish Parliament visit:

For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP and VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead are pictured in the Chamber with staff representatives from the Scottish Parliament

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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
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2018 Year of Young People

  • 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:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
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  • Equality 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.
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  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.