Tourism campaign for Borders gets off to flying start

Tourism businesses in the Borders have launched a new campaign billing the region as the ideal starting point for holidays in Scotland.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 4:33 pm
A new campaign has been launched to promote Borders tourist attractions such as the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels, opening in 2021. Photo: Borders Aerial Photography.

That initiative, called Scotland Starts Here, has been put together to raise the region’s profile as a year-round tourist destination.

A website has been set up to showcase the region’s attractions – such as Traquair House at Innerleithen, Floors castle at Kelso, Thirlestane Castle at Lauder and the forthcoming Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels – and it’s being backed up by a digital marketing campaign including a mobile phone app, podcasts, eBooks, videos, blogs and social media advertising.

The campaign aims to highlight to potential visitors that it was in the Borders and Midlothian that Scotland’s national identity was created, making them an ideal starting point for exploring the nation’s past both from a historical perspective and because of their geographical location.

Hawick historical re-enactment group the Steel Bonnets with, from left, Network Rail's Juliet Donnachie and the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group's Jemma Reid and Vanessa Wegstein launching the campaign at Edinburgh Waverley railway station.

Aimed at visitors from both elsewhere in the UK and abroad, the campaign focuses on four themes – history and heritage, food and drink, hidden gems and outdoor activities.

It’s been developed by the Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group on behalf of the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership and Midlothian Tourism Forum.

Over the past three years, the group has held workshops and provided training and product development advice to more than 800 businesses to make them more tourism-aware.

Group project manager Jemma Reid said: “For many people travelling to Scotland, the Borders and Midlothian are where their very first experiences, touchpoints and memories of Scotland are forged.

“Scotland Starts Here plays to this and celebrates the unique history and cultural experiences that our region has to offer.

“We are easily one of the most accessible, most breathtaking and exciting parts of Scotland, and we are thrilled that we can now showcase this to the max, and, through working with local businesses, we can take the Borders and Midlothian to the world.

“2020 is the start of some big things for our local tourism industry.”

VisitScotland regional director Neil Christison added: “Scotland Starts Here is an exciting campaign that will promote the wealth of fantastic experiences on offer in the Borders and Midlothian and bring to life the stories and people that make the area unique.

“I would encourage the local industry to get involved in the campaign and help spread the word about the fantastic area where they live and work to visitors at home and abroad.”

For further details, go to www.scotlandstartshere.com