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Tourism tops agenda in West Lothian

Press release   •   Sep 21, 2018 11:54 BST

Stewart Ness and Neil Christison pedal the way for West Lothian at the recent tourism networking event

HIGHLIGHTING the importance of working together to grow the local visitor economy was the focus of a networking event organised by VisitScotland and Visit West Lothian.

Around 30 representatives from businesses in West Lothian came together for the networking event at Jupiter Artland, near Wilkieston, recently.

The West Lothian Networking Event gave members of the area’s tourism industry the opportunity to meet staff from both the national tourism organisation and Visit West Lothian, as well as connect with like-minded businesses.

Attendees were introduced to VisitScotland Regional Director Neil Christison who was appointed to the region earlier this year and gave an overview of VisitScotland’s activities in the area. They also heard Visit West Lothian’s Tourism Officer Stewart Ness, who provided an overview of general trends and forthcoming work from the organisation over the next few months. Guests were also treated to a tour of the sculpture park and demonstration from the West Lothian Bike Library, a community initiative that promotes and supplies e-bikes in the region.

Neil Christison, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted that representatives from so many businesses in West Lothian attended this event, which gives an opportunity for like-minded businesses to come together, share knowledge and ideas and learn more about what VisitScotland and Visit West Lothian are doing to support tourism in the area.

“The latest STEAM figures for West Lothian show that visitors to the region are spending more during their visit. This region has tremendous assets and strengths that offer visitors a range of great experiences – from high quality visitor attractions to history and culture.

“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.”

Stewart Ness, West Lothian Council’s Tourism and Town Centre Officer said: “Visit West Lothian are delighted with the success of the networking event delivered in conjunction with VisitScotland. The 2017 STEAM report underlines the importance of tourism in West Lothian, with 1.15 million visitors spending £136 million pounds and contributing to 2,200 jobs in the area. The whole team at Visit West Lothian are dedicated to helping businesses make the most of those visitors and attracting more.”

For more information on Visit West Lothian,

For more information on E-Bikes West Lothian, 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
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2018 Year of Young People

  • 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.
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