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Spreading the Word of Scotland’s South

Press release   •   Mar 13, 2019 09:42 GMT

A See South Scotland parliamentary reception was hosted by VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward, Rachael Hamilton MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Joan McAlpine MSP

A SPECIAL event to celebrate tourism in the south of Scotland was held at the Scottish Parliament.

Over 100 tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway attended the event to learn more about the See South Scotland campaign. Guests heard from Joan McAlpine MSP (Member for south of Scotland)and Rachael Hamilton MSP (Member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire), VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward and Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

The See South Scotland campaign was launched by VisitScotland in October last year to promote the south of Scotland as a tourism destination to key UK and European markets. Bringing Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders together as one for the first time, #SeeSouthScotland focuses specifically on the region’s world-class coastal and forest activity, dark skies, walking, cycling and the Galloway & Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.

Through the development of online content, foreign press trips, partnerships and digital marketing campaigns, VisitScotland’s campaign is targeting potential leisure visitors from domestic and international markets, encouraging them to visit the south of Scotland.

Tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway learned more about some of the recent activity, which includes:

  • Direct mail packs issued to around 25,000 households in the north of England and London featuring inspiring spring getaway ideas to #SeeSouthScotland
  • Marketing activity delivered in partnership with @POferries resulted in 23,000 views of a #SeeSouthScotland dedicated campaign page and 875,000 views of a dedicated video
  • Collaboration on the production of a new film highlighting some of the region’s world-leading locations for mountain biking. The film can be viewed here:

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “This South of Scotland event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the unique stories and attractions that can be found in the region.

“The South of Scotland has a lot to offer both domestic and international tourists which is why the Scottish Government is working to support the region and help it grow and attract even more visitors by funding projects that are promoting sustainable tourism and adventure tourism as well as providing £500,000 of additional funding to VisitScotland for the #SeeSouthScotland campaign.”

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward said, We were delighted to have this opportunity to host an event at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate tourism in the south of Scotland.

“It was fantastic to see so many tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway in attendance at the event and I hope they will come away feeling excited and optimistic about the work we are doing and the commitment we have in showcasing the region to the world. We are particularly delighted to be able to showcase the fantastic range of product from across the region who are an excellent example of the diversity and quality available to visitors across the length and breadth of the South of Scotland.

“It’s such an exciting time for the south of Scotland and we hope #SeeSouthScotland encourages visitors around the world to experience the abundance of activities, rich experiences and stunning scenery on offer for themselves.”

Joan McAlpine MSP (Member for south of Scotland)said: "I am delighted to co-host this showcase for south Scotland in our national parliament. It's a wonderful opportunity for VisitScotland to promote Dumfries and Galloway to the rest of the country. From stunning scenery, outdoor pursuits, incredible heritage and marvellous food and drink, the region has so many attractions and this special campaign rightly celebrates them all"

Rachael Hamilton MSP (Member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)said: “Tourism is an incredibly important enabler in the Scottish Borders and it’s essential that we are part of Visit Scotland’s campaign to promote the South of Scotland.

“Rural tourism in Borders towns and villages creates jobs and benefits the wider economy and we are lucky to have a wide and varied tourism offering and plenty of reasons for tourists to visit. Famously Hawick showcases the best of cashmere and knitwear to tweed, gin and whisky production, Berwickshire boasts breathtaking coastal walks, agri-tourism ventures like Fluffy Moos offer corporate team building. So too have Thirlestane Castle developed a fantastic accommodation offering alongside its traditional visitor experience and Newcastleton havs the world class 7-stanes mountain biking trail.

For more information on the national tourist board’s campaign, please see here

VisitScotland has created a South of Scotland Toolkit for businesses to access campaign material, to view click here

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, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • 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)
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Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.