A Borders business has been cashing in on the opportunities presented by this unique year for Scottish tourism.
Borders Journeys, a company which brings numerous visitors to the region, has capitalised on Homecoming Scotland 2014, a year-long co-ordinated programme of events.
The company has seen a 120 per cent increase in demand for ancestral tours, with most of the visitors this year homecomersfrom Australia, Canada and the USA researching their ancestral roots.
Borders Journeys provide exclusive private and small group guided tours of Scotland. Their ancestral research services and tailor-made ancestral tours take visitors on a journey of discovery to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Tour operator Ian Walker said: “This year has seen a massive increase in the amount of ancestral tours that we’ve organised as well as researching Scottish ancestral roots.
“So far we have organised 12 ancestral tours where nine groups of homecomers have had ancestral roots in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway – we have another three booked in before the end of September.
“Throughout 2014 Borders Journeys will continue to support VisitScotland to promote both Scottish and local tourism during the year of Homecoming Scotland, which will in turn support my business’ continued growth.”
Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “Borders Journeys are an excellent example of Homecoming Scotland success.
“We have been marketing Scotland’s significant 2014 events – Homecoming Scotland, the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup – for well over a year to our international markets and tour operators such as Ian Walker have maximised upon the opportunity to great effect.”
Ian has dedicated a number of sections on his website to Homecoming and its associated events, with a page on the Return to the Ridings festival in the Borders, a Homecoming funded event, and a wider Homecoming blog page.