Borders businesses being urged to boost their digital skills

From left, Vanessa Wegstein, digital marketing officer at Abbotsford House, near Tweedbank; Jemma Reid, project manager at the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group; VisitScotland's Sonia Valcarcel and H�l�ne Sinclair; and Markus Stitz of the Borders Book Festival promoting the month of digital workshops.
From left, Vanessa Wegstein, digital marketing officer at Abbotsford House, near Tweedbank; Jemma Reid, project manager at the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group; VisitScotland's Sonia Valcarcel and H�l�ne Sinclair; and Markus Stitz of the Borders Book Festival promoting the month of digital workshops.

Businesses in the Borders are being urged to improve their digital skills to help boost the region’s appeal as a tourist destination.

A four-week-long programme of digital training events has been launched for businesses here and in Midlothian and East Lothian as part of Scottish Tourism Month, starting today, March 1.

VisitScotland is working with Digital Tourism Scotland, Business Gateway, the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group, Midlothian Tourism Forum and the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership to encourage businesses to take advantage of the digital training on offer.

The programme of events will be run throughout March at venues in towns including Galashiels and Hawick.

VisitScotland regional director Paula Ward said: “We are delighted to be working together to provide tourism businesses in the Borders and Lothians with face-to-face advice and learning tailored for all levels of digital skills.

“Digital information and the widespread use of mobile devices have transformed the way visitors source information and make bookings, both in advance and on arrival.

“The first thing visitors do when they arrive in Scotland is switch on their mobile phone.

“By encouraging businesses to use more digital tools effectively, businesses can strengthen connections with potential and existing visitors and achieve efficiencies and greater productivity.

“I would encourage businesses to take up these opportunities during Scottish Tourism Month and take an important step to helping navigate the ever-changing digital landscape.

“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand.”

Fergus Watson, a business tourism adviser for the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group, said: “The courses on offer by our various partners in the Borders and Lothians during Scottish Tourism Month cover a wide variety of different disciplines and skillsets.

“They offer the ideal opportunity for all businesses to learn more about digital marketing and technology.

“We want to support businesses to remain competitive in the fast-moving tourism industry, and by using digital technology to become more creative and innovative, businesses will be better placed to adapt to new trends and remain ahead of the game.”

The programme starts in Hawick on Tuesday, March 6, with a workshop on the future of digital technology in tourism and online booking.

Further events will take follow in Musselburgh, Galashiels and Loanhead.

For details, go to www.visitscotland.org/digital-skills-month-2018.aspx