Galashiels piping mad at tourism brochures

Drew Tulley
Drew Tulley

VisitScotland has been criticised for using a photo of a pipe band three times in two brochures to promote Galashiels.

Two of the same image of Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band performing at the Braw Lads’ Gathering are the only photos related to the town in the quango’s accomodation booklet for the Borders.

And of three pictures used in its ‘what to see and do’ programme for the region, the same photo was used again alongside images of Old Gala House and Torwoodlee Golf Club.

Former Scottish Borders Council convenor Drew Tulley brought the brochures to Galashiels Community Council’s meeting to express his disappointment at the tourism service provided to the town, with members agreeing to write to VisitScotland to register their complaint.

Mr Tulley said: “There are excellent photos available of Galashiels but none that have been used pertains to Galashiels. The pipe band are excellent but we don’t need three photos of them.”

He added: “A lot of wonderful things are going on in this town.

“But someone should be thumping the table for Gala and asking for a better service in VisitScotland’s publications.”

Councillor Sandy Aitchison agreed that “Galashiels was not promoted enough”, while fellow councillor Bill White said: “I don’t think this is satisfactory.

“We have been told it will all improve when the transport interchange arrives, and I will be keeping a watching brief to see that happens.”

But a VisitScotland spokeswoman told The Southern: “We are committed to marketing the whole of the Scottish Borders in partnership with the Scottish Borders Council and we’re confident we do that, covering Galashiels as just one place visitors can go to in the region.

“We are now offering free web listings on our website so local businesses can take advantage of this.”