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Tourism on the agenda in the Scottish Borders

Press Release   •   Apr 27, 2018 14:05 BST

VisitScotland Chair Lord Thurso (centre) met with tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders this week

VisitScotland Chairman John Thurso and members of the national tourism organisation’s Board met in Peebles earlier this week (Thursday 26th April) to meet representatives of the local tourism industry.

As part of the Engagement Strategy of the VisitScotland Board, the meeting at Peebles Hydro is one in a series which will be held across the country this year. The tour allows the Chairman and the Board members to hear directly from industry stakeholders in order to gain a better understanding of both positive developments in the region, as well as challenges facing the industry.

The round table meeting and lunch was attended by representatives from across the sector, including: Vicki Steel from Aikwood Tower; James Walker from Eyemouth Harbour Trust; Barbara Elbourn from Dalkeith House; Ally McGrath from Osso; Alan Grierson from Bisley at Braidwood; Rosamund de la Hey from Mainstreet Trading and Alastair Cunningham from Scottish Clans and Castles. Also in attendance was VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward.

The region’s successful year at the Scottish Thistle Awards was also recognised with winner of the coveted National Most Hospitable B&B Award, Malcolm Mullarkey from Kingsmuir House Hotel, in attendance at the discussions. He was joined by Regional Finalist Carol Ann Houghton from Airhouses, Oxton, and John Matthews from Windlestraw, Peebles.

A total of seven tourism businesses across the Scottish Borders received prizes at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards regional finals, with Kingsmuir House going onto win the coveted National award in March.

VisitScotland Chair Lord Thuso said: In 2018, we will continue to take our Board meetings out and about around the country. Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grown the visitor economy,

“It is vital that we get a chance to speak directly to our stakeholders and to have opportunities like this to meet together to discuss local achievements as well as current challenges.”

Paula Ward, Regional Leadership Director added: “I was delighted that such broad representation from the local tourism industry took the opportunity to come together to meet with the VisitScotland Board on their recent visit to the Scottish Borders.

“The Board’s visit to the region comes at an important time for tourism in the region with the creation of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership and the commitment through the Programme for Government to promote the south of Scotland as a must-visit destination for coastal, cycling and forest tourism activities.

“Tourism is the cornerstone of economic success in the Scottish Borders, supporting 4,000 jobs and generating £76million for the local economy. It is an exciting time for tourism in the Scottish Borders and tourism businesses have a real opportunity to get involved and help shape future developments as the region’s reputation as one of the must-visit destinations in the UK grows.”

For more information on the VisitScotland Board, visit:

For more information on the Scottish Borders, visit:

For more information on the SoSEP consultation events, visit:

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.
  • 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)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
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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 or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.