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Soaring to the stars!

Press Release   •   Feb 01, 2018 09:20 GMT

Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, Tom Brock (left), and Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive for VisitScotland, along with youngsters from the centre's education programme. Photographer: Gareth Easton

One of the Scotland’s leading wildlife centres has swooped up tourism’s highest accolade.

The Scottish Seabird Centre, twice winner of BBC Countryfile’s Nature Reserve of the Year, has once again received a five-star grading from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards. The QA Scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

The conservation and education charity, located in the seaside town of North Berwick, opened in 2000 and has since seen significant enhancements and developments to ensure the optimum visitor experience, customer service and hospitality possible.

The main focus for the attraction is the Discovery Centre, which features interactive cameras on the local islands, including the Bass Rock and Isle of May national nature reserve, enabling visitors to zoom in on the live wildlife action. There is different wildlife to see throughout the season, including gannets, puffins and seals. There is also a 3D Wildlife Theatre Film Experience and seasonal events to encourage visitors young and old to engage with nature in a fun, yet sustainable way.

The Centre’s Seabird Café, offering stunning views across the Firth of Forth and the iconic Bass Rock, uses the very best locally-sourced East Lothian produce and has received Taste Our Best accreditation from VisitScotland.

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “We are incredibly proud to have retained our Five Star status from VisitScotland. As a charity and a visitor attraction, it is essential that we raise awareness of our work as a conservation and education charity as well as delivering a high-quality visitor experience.

“We continually invest in our staff as we understand that a happy and well-trained front-line team is essential to delivering the best customer care. As we look to the future, developing our plans to diversify our focus to marine life above and below the waves, we will keep this front of mind to ensure we continue to maintain the highest standard.

“We would like to thank VisitScotland for recognising our achievement and offering ongoing support.”

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “My congratulations go to everyone at The Scottish Seabird Centre on retaining their five-star grading. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by the team to maintain such exceptional standards.

“Our Quality Assurance Schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. The star rating reflects the entire visitor experience, as well as the investment in the business to make it as economically sustainable and profitable as it can be.”

VisitScotland’s QA 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.

ENDS

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.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • 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:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality 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.
  • oEnterprise 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
  • oCulture – 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.