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Tourism makes waves in East Lothian

Press release   •   Dec 19, 2018 10:13 GMT

The tourism-focused networking event took place at NB Distillery in North Berwick which opened in April

TOURISM businesses in East Lothian are being encouraged to make the most of some exciting future opportunities for the region.

With the Year of Coasts and Waters just around the corner in 2020, around 40 local businesses from the region were encouraged to plan ahead to make the most of the themed year as they came together at a tourism networking event recently.

Organised by VisitScotland and Visit East Lothian, the networking event gave members of the area’s tourism industry the opportunity to meet staff from both organisations, as well as connect with like-minded businesses.

Attendees were introduced to VisitScotland Regional Director Neil Christison who was appointed to the region of East Lothian earlier this year and gave an overview of VisitScotland’s activities in the area. They also heard from Provost John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s Spokesperson for Economic Development & Tourism, who welcomed everyone and talked about the importance of networking. He also highlighted the return of the ASI Scottish Open & Ladies Scottish Open to East Lothian next year to their new venue at the Renaissance Club. Everyone attending was also treated to a tour of the NB Gin Distillery in North Berwick by owner Viv Muir, which opened in April this year.

In addition to planning ahead for the Year of Coasts and Water, local businesses were encouraged to capitalise on recent filming in the area. An interactive map of Scotland featuring the film locations of Outlaw King – which includes Seacliff Beach in East Lothian – has been produced by VisitScotland.

VisitScotland Regional Director Neil Christison said: “With one in five visitors inspired to come to Scotland after seeing it on the big or small screen*, the recent filming in the region of Outlaw King as well as Mary Queen of Scots to be released next month, represents an excellent opportunity for the Scottish tourism industry. We hope local businesses will use the interactive map to encourage potential visitors to explore the region.

“I would also encourage local tourism businesses to embrace the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 – with its stunning coastline there are many opportunities for businesses to get involved. We’ve created a range of tools to help inspire businesses to engage and ultimately bring benefits to both your business and the region.

“VisitScotland works closely with communities and businesses to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy that touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

Provost John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “It was great to see so many representatives from East Lothian’s broad range of businesses at this event and it was a fantastic opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas.

“East Lothian’s tourism industry continues to grow and it’s important to work together and capitalise on the opportunities provided by common approaches such as the forthcoming Year of Coasts and Waters. We have a great natural environment here, coupled with first class accommodation, fantastic food and drink and wonderful visitor attractions – not to mention a world class golf offering. The council has ambitious plans to grow East Lothian’s economy and tourism will play a large part in that, so we will continue to work together in innovative ways.”

For more information on the Year of Coasts and Waters, visit:

For more information about East Lothian, visit

For more information on Visit East Lothian, visit:

The Outlaw King map can be downloaded here:


*VisitScotland report: Film and TV – Visitor Survey extract 2015-16:

Notes to Editors

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2018 Year of Young People

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  • A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at
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