THE quality of accommodation on offer to visitors to the Stranraer area received a major boost recently when two local providers each received 4-star awards from the national tourism organisation.
Spoutwells Farm Self-Catering Holiday Cottages recently received a 4-Star Quality Assurance (QA) from VisitScotland. Its newly renovated cottages – The Bullpen and The Byre – achieved this at their first grading.
The modern cottages – set on a small farm on the outskirts of Stranraer with its own flock of pedigree Suffolk Sheep - sleep two and six respectively and come with private hot tubs. They are the latest addition to the farm where two other cottages, The Hayloft and The Stables – which hold 3-star QA awards from VisitScotland – have been on offer for almost 20 years.
Cairnryan B&B, which offers its guests stunning views of Loch Ryan, a few miles north of Stranraer, was also awarded a 4-star QA award from VisitScotland at its first grading.
The B&B, which is ideally situated for links to the ferry ports in the area, has also been awarded Taste Our Best – a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government to recognise businesses including and promoting local Scottish Produce on their menus.
Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow businesses not just to meet visitor expectations, but to exceed them.
Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “Congratulations to both Spoutwells Farm Holiday Cottages and Cairnryan B&B on their fantastic achievements. They are providing high standards of accommodation, which is reflected in their four-star awards. Having spent time with both owners, it was obvious that across every area of the business, they are seeking to surprise and delight their guests. Tiny little touches are found in almost everything they do, from the beautiful crystal glasses to enjoy a complimentary glass of sherry to freshly picked strawberries from the garden in a welcome basket.
“I hope the success of both businesses at achieving this level at only their first grading visit will encourage others in the region to join the scheme, which benefits tourism businesses and visitors alike.
“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 and making it as economically sustainable as it can possibly be.”
Owner of Spoutwells Farm Holiday Cottages, Anne Wilson, said: “I am delighted to receive this award and to have the recent investment in our business recognised in this way. We are committed at Spoutwells to offering our guests the highest standards to ensure their experience of our accommodation and Dumfries & Galloway as a whole is the very best.”
Cairnryan B&B owners Pat and Bill Parker have significant experience in the tourism industry, having owned a B&B in the region for 35 years previously. Pat said: “We are overjoyed to have achieved this 4-Star Award for our new business. We have always been very proud of our high standards and, with more than 35 years in the industry, always want to ensure that an exceptionally warm welcome is on hand for our guests.”
For more information, visit: http://www.cairnryan-bb.co.uk or
VisitScotland’sQuality Assuranceschemes 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.
For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visitwww.visitscotland.org/quality_assurance.aspx
VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward with Spoutwells Farm Holiday Cottages owner Anne Wilson
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 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
- 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
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- 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