A brochure full of suggested Borders tours has been produced in an attempt to increase the tourist coach and group travel trade in the area.
With cash from the European Regional Development Fund, Business Gateway Scottish Borders has developed Discover Scottish Borders, a brochure containing five two-day itineraries that highlight the region to the UK’s and world’s leading coach and group tour travel companies.
Expert travel writer Johanna Campbell was enlisted to develop the routes after Phil McCreadie, tourism business adviser at Business Gateway, realised more needed to be done to promote the area to the travel trade.
He said: “I visited a leading travel trade event last April and coach companies were really keen to hear more about what the Borders had to offer.
Mr McCreadie said many companies simply passed through the area or only stopped at one local attraction, but the brochure will encourage more coach and group travel companies to come to the region and stay.
This will increase visitor numbers and spend at attractions and hotels and provide spin-off benefits to local businesses, he added.
The itineraries highlight key attractions and the larger hotels along each route.
Mr McCreadie added: “I’ve already had meetings with coach companies who are now talking about coming to, and staying in, the region for the very first time because of the brochure.”
Andria Gardner, owner of the George and Abbotsford Hotel in Melrose, said: “Larger hotels like ours have a lot to offer coach companies and that is why this project is vital.”
Kara Ter Morsche, from Eyemouth’s Gunsgreen House visitor attraction, said: “I travelled to Best of British and Irish Expo in March with Phil and we took the new brochure with us.
“One of the first things we noticed was that no other region was able to offer companies such a comprehensive, well-researched and attractive itinerary booklet. It’s exactly what travel trade buyers need and want.”
She added: “We really do believe the Scottish Borders will benefit greatly from this project.”