Visitors to East Ayrshire are set to receive the ‘VIP’ treatment, following the announcement of a new partnership between VisitScotland and East Ayrshire Leisure.
Six museums and visitor attractions within the region have joined an exclusive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) by committing to actively promote the local area and services offered by local businesses.
The Dick Institute, Palace Theatre, Burns Monument Centre and Dean Castle and Country Park in Kilmarnock, the Burns House Museum and Library in Mauchline, and The Baird Institute in Cumnock join a list of 66 businesses and visitor attractions across Ayrshire & Arran to sign up to the scheme.
Staff at the East Ayrshire properties already provide information and inspiration to visitors by actively promoting their local area and the services offered by local businesses. The new official accreditation will add value to the service they offer and make it easier than ever before for visitors to connect with local businesses.
Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign, harnessing the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of staff at the attractions helping visitors make the most of their trip to Scotland.
VisitScotland will provide the partner sites with official ‘iKnow’ signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive first-class information about Ayrshire and about Scotland as a whole.
The programme has taken the country by storm since it was launched with accommodation providers, visitor attractions and social enterprises all joining up to do their bit to ensure visitors receive first-class information about the local region and Scotland as a whole.
Doon Valley Crafters, a group of crafters based in Dalmellington which specialises in keeping traditional weaving and spinning techniques alive, recently became the first social enterprise in Ayrshire and Arran to sign up to the VIP programme which is open to all types of quality-assured tourism businesses and community interest groups and social enterprises.
VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “We are delighted to welcome East Ayrshire Leisure to our VIP programme as recognition of the role staff at these popular museums and visitor attractions already play in promoting their local area.
“We look forward to working with East Ayrshire Leisure and Doon Valley Crafters as our first social enterprise to ensure that visitors receive the best local information from a variety of providers.
“VisitScotland’s VIP programme aims to ensure that all tourism providers can be 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 country providing high quality information and advice to visitors with whom they interact.”
John Griffiths, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Leisure said: “Our staff have a wealth of local knowledge and we realise how important it is to share this with our visitors to enhance their experience and help showcase the tourism offer in the area. East Ayrshire and the wider region have a host of things to see and do for visitors and we have a real sense of pride in being part of this exciting scheme.”
Dale Stevenson from Doon Valley Crafters said: “We are delighted to join the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) scheme and to work together to ensure that visitors to Ayrshire get access to all the information they need to make the most of their visit.
“We want visitors to Dalmellington to have a great time not just in the town but as they continue their onward journey through the region. We are proud to display the ‘iKnow’ Scotland accreditation at our centre as recognition of our commitment to providing first-class information about Ayrshire & Arran as a whole.”
For more information on the VIP programme, visit http://www.visitscotland.org/what_we_do/visitor_information/information_partner_scheme.aspx
VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong welcomes East Ayrshire Leisure Cultural Services Manager Adam Geary(second from right) and front of house staff at The Dick Institute, Kilmarnock to VisitScotland’s VIP programme
Notes to Editors
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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.
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