A TRADITIONAL country clothing store, gift shop, café, pottery studio, pub, shoe shop and self-catering accommodation are among a group of local businesses in Kelso to join an innovative scheme to provide first-class information to visitors.
More than ten businesses from local community group Visit Kelso have joined a network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) by committing to actively promote the local area and services offered by local businesses.
The initiative is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors for their town or region, providing visitors with first-class information about things to see and do both locally and further afield.
A Hume Country Clothing, One Basket, Focal Point Furniture, Kelso Pottery, Kelso Border Retreats, Rutherfords Micropub, Seasons, The Cream Chimneys, Borders Cookware and Swans Shoes are just some of the businesses in the town to sign up to the scheme, as part of Visit Kelso.
Other members of the community group include Floors Castle, the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course, Kelso Holiday Cottages, Border Holiday Homes and Hendersyde Farm Cottages. They join a network of more than 80 VIP partners across the Scottish Borders providing inspirational local knowledge to visitors to the region.
The new official ‘iKnow’ accreditation will add value to the service they offer and make it easier than ever before for visitors to connect with local businesses.
Nikki Allman, Secretary of Visit Kelso said: “As a group of local business owners in Kelso and the surrounding area, we realise how important it is to share our local knowledge and insights with our visitors to help make sure they receive a warm welcome and make the most of what there is to see and do in the local area.
“We have members throughout the town of Kelso and the surrounding area and are therefore ideally located to offer visitors access to information to help enhance their experience and help showcase the tourism offer in the area.
“We want our visitors to have a great time in this wonderful part of the country and we are looking forward to continuing to ensure visitors enjoy a first-class experience.
Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Visit Kelsodoes an amazing job at attracting and offering a first-class experience to visitors of Kelso and we are delighted to welcome the group to our VIP programme. It is well-deserved official recognition of the fantastic work that the group already undertakes to promote the local area.
“VisitScotland’s VIP programme is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors and help provide information, assistance and advice on all there is to see and do here. This follows a growing trend among consumers to use online resources to plan their trips and we now have partners throughout the region providing high quality information and advice to visitors with whom they interact.”
The innovative scheme is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors for their town or region by providing first-class information to visitors.
The VIP programme is open to all Quality Assured businesses, as well as community groups, local authority-operated library services and social enterprises. VisitScotland provides the partner sites with official signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive an excellent standard of information about the area and the rest of Scotland. For more information, visit www.visitscotland.org
The full list of VIP partners from Visit Kelso:
- A Hume Outfitters Ltd
- Kelso Pottery
- Seasons Coffee Shop
- Floors Castle
- Hendersyde Farm Cottages
- Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course
- Kelso Border Retreats
- Focal Point Furniture
- One Basket
- Border Cookware
- The Cream Chimneys
- Rutherfords Micropub
- Kelso Holiday Cottages
- Border Holiday Homes
For more information on Visit Kelso, visit: http://www.visitkelso.com/
For more information on the VisitScotland Information Partner programme, visit: www.visitscotland.org/about_us/what_we_do/visitor_information/information_partner_programme.aspx
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 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