Half Million Pound South West Scotland Tourism Campaign Launched

Half a million pounds of funding has been announced to launch a new campaign dedicated to attracting visitors to the South of Scotland.


VisitScotland has been granted the additional funding from the Scottish Government to launch an ambitious two-year campaign to promote the south of Scotland as a tourism destination for coastal and forest activities in particular.


As tourism leaders gathered in Dumfries on Tuesday (2 October) for the annual industry conference, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward declared it an exciting time for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.


She said: “This additional funding will be used by VisitScotland to develop and deliver an ambitious, targeted and coordinated marketing programme that promotes the wealth of fantastic experiences on offer across the South of Scotland.
“From the dark skies to the dramatic coastline, not forgetting some of the world’s best walking and cycling routes on our doorstep, the See South Scotland campaign will bring to life the abundance of activities, rich experiences and stunning scenery on offer right across this region.
“It is a very exciting time for tourism with the development of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership and the opportunities afforded through the Borderlands Growth Deal. We have the opportunity to shine the spotlight onto this region and bring visitors from across the world to experience it for themselves.
“Scotland is about building bridges, connecting places and bringing people together. Tourism is at the heart of this and VisitScotland plays a role by championing collaboration, spearheading digital innovation, promoting local areas and events and ensuring that tourism is recognised for the ripple effect of success, well-being and prosperity its brings to all sections of society.”

The campaign will launch this autumn, with international marketing activity kicking off early next year. VisitScotland will target potential leisure visitors from domestic and international markets, encouraging them to visit the South of Scotland as the main driver for their visit to Scotland through the development of online content, foreign press trips, partnerships and digital marketing campaigns.


In addition, nine tourism businesses from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway will travel to Amsterdam at the end of October, as part of the national tourism organisation’s first European Business Development Mission.


Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’m delighted the Scottish Government is helping to put the south of Scotland on the map as a must-visit tourist destination.
“This fantastic new campaign will help to promote the wide range of exciting attractions the area has to offer to both domestic and international markets.
“This support is in addition to our funding for Forest Enterprise Scotland to develop its offering to visitors in the region and our work to establish a south of Scotland economy agency which will help to drive forward this agenda.”

The announcement came as VisitScotland and Dumfries & Galloway held their annual joint industry conference at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries this week. More than 100 tourism businesses from across the region came together during Business Week on the theme of Growth.


The event was opened by Paula and Councillor Andrew Wood from Dumfries and Galloway Council, with keynote addresses from Council Leader Elaine Murray who spoke about the importance of tourism to the local authority. Delegates also heard from Anne Barclay and Adrian Turpin of the Wigtown Festival Company, celebrating 20 successful years of the Wigtown Book Festival. The conference also included workshops and networking opportunities.


Councillor Andrew Wood, Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “Tourism is vital to the economy of our region, and with our rolling hills and miles of coastline, just over the border in the first region in Scotland, we are in a unique and fortunate position to tap into this vital resource. The allocation of this additional funding is great news as it will enable us to promote our attractions to an even wider audience who will receive a warm welcome from our local communities when they come to visit. ”
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray, commented: “The Tourism Sector supports thousands of jobs locally, both through direct and indirect employment, sustains communities and generates hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue for our region. Today’s conference brings together public sector agencies and private business enabling us to share good practice, discuss how we can together improve and expand our tourism offer and bring new and repeat visitors to our wonderful region.”


Attendees represented all areas of the tourism and hospitality sectors, ranging from accommodation providers and tour operators, to food and drink businesses, visitor attractions and events’ organisers.


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