Half a million pounds of funding has been announced to launch a new campaign dedicated to attracting visitors to the South of Scotland.
VisitScotland has been granted the additional funding from the Scottish Government to launch an ambitious two-year campaign to promote the south of Scotland as a tourism destination for coastal and forest activities in particular.
As tourism leaders gathered in Dumfries on Tuesday (2 October) for the annual industry conference, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward declared it an exciting time for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
She said: “This additional funding will be used by VisitScotland to develop and deliver an ambitious, targeted and coordinated marketing programme that promotes the wealth of fantastic experiences on offer across the South of Scotland.
“From the dark skies to the dramatic coastline, not forgetting some of the world’s best walking and cycling routes on our doorstep, the See South Scotland campaign will bring to life the abundance of activities, rich experiences and stunning scenery on offer right across this region.
“It is a very exciting time for tourism with the development of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership and the opportunities afforded through the Borderlands Growth Deal. We have the opportunity to shine the spotlight onto this region and bring visitors from across the world to experience it for themselves.
“Scotland is about building bridges, connecting places and bringing people together. Tourism is at the heart of this and VisitScotland plays a role by championing collaboration, spearheading digital innovation, promoting local areas and events and ensuring that tourism is recognised for the ripple effect of success, well-being and prosperity its brings to all sections of society.”
The campaign will launch this autumn, with international marketing activity kicking off early next year. VisitScotland will target potential leisure visitors from domestic and international markets, encouraging them to visit the South of Scotland as the main driver for their visit to Scotland through the development of online content, foreign press trips, partnerships and digital marketing campaigns.
In addition, nine tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway will travel to Amsterdam at the end of October, as part of the national tourism organisation’s first European Business Development Mission.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’m delighted the Scottish Government is helping to put the south of Scotland on the map as a must-visit tourist destination.
“This fantastic new campaign will help to promote the wide range of exciting attractions the area has to offer to both domestic and international markets.
“This support is in addition to our funding for Forest Enterprise Scotland to develop its offering to visitors in the region and our work to establish a south of Scotland economy agency which will help to drive forward this agenda.”
The announcement came as VisitScotland and Dumfries & Galloway held their annual joint industry conference at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries this week. More than 100 tourism businesses from across the region came together during Business Week on the theme of Growth.
The event was opened by Paula and Councillor Andrew Wood from Dumfries and Galloway Council, with keynote addresses from Council Leader Elaine Murray who spoke about the importance of tourism to the local authority. Delegates also heard from Anne Barclay and Adrian Turpin of the Wigtown Festival Company, celebrating 20 successful years of the Wigtown Book Festival. The conference also included workshops and networking opportunities.
Councillor Andrew Wood, Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “Tourism is vital to the economy of our region, and with our rolling hills and miles of coastline, just over the border in the first region in Scotland, we are in a unique and fortunate position to tap into this vital resource. The allocation of this additional funding is great news as it will enable us to promote our attractions to an even wider audience who will receive a warm welcome from our local communities when they come to visit. ”
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray, commented: “The Tourism Sector supports thousands of jobs locally, both through direct and indirect employment, sustains communities and generates hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue for our region. Today’s conference brings together public sector agencies and private business enabling us to share good practice, discuss how we can together improve and expand our tourism offer and bring new and repeat visitors to our wonderful region.”
Attendees represented all areas of the tourism and hospitality sectors, ranging from accommodation providers and tour operators, to food and drink businesses, visitor attractions and events’ organisers.
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 http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- 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 www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
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
- Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
- 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.
- Enterprise 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
- Culture – 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 www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.