VisitScotland Regional Director looks at 2017 As Successful Year for Tourism in D&G

As the New Year gets underway, Paula Ward, Regional Director of national tourism organisation VisiScotland, has been taking time to reflect on the highlights of 2017 – a successful year for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway.

2017 has been a been a busy year for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway, with highlights including the first ever European Dark Sky Park Conference taking place in the region in September, the annual industry conference held in partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Council, as well as exciting developments including the opening of the first ever 3G swing at Galloway Activity Centre, the launch of GG’s Yard and the promotion of driving routes throughout the region.


VisitScotland also released the results of the biggest ever Scotland Visitor Survey which revealed that the region topped the list for repeat visitors with almost half of people wanting to return after holidaying in the area*.


Paula Ward
Paula said: “We have so much to be proud of in Dumfries & Galloway and we continue to showcase the region on a global stage, leading and supporting a wide ranging programme of events, marketing and partnership projects.
 “We have recently launched a series of three new films, helping to lift the lid on what makes the region a unique and memorable destination. Not only does the landscape lend itself to outdoor activities that the region is famous for, but there is also an exciting programme of events on offer right across the region.
It is fantastic to see the success of events like the renowned Wigtown Book Festival and the inaugural Wild Film Festival which helped shine the spotlight on the region, showcasing the very best of what Dumfries & Galloway has to offer. We are also ending the year on a high after Dumfries & Galloway was named in the top 10 destinations to visit in 2018 by influential online travel magazine GEO.de “

Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy.

Paula added: “The way that visitors access information about Scotland has changed significantly over the past decade and by delivering global marketing activity like this, we can continue to support local tourism businesses and provide inspiration for visitors from all over the world.
“Our ambition is to reach more people than ever before with inspirational and exciting information about Scotland. We are delighted that more than 120 business in Dumfries & Galloway are now part of the Visitor Information Partner (VIP) programme – including Wigtown Book Festival and other businesses across the region – working with VisitScotland to ensure that visitors are equipped with the best local knowledge about things to experience in the region.”

In 2018, Scotland celebrates the Year of Young People, with a year-long schedule of events, activities and ideas which will give young people the opportunity to shine, showcase their talents and contributions. The year will provide more ways for both visitors and locals to explore all that Scotland has to offer.

Paula added: “As we  start off the Year of Young People, I would urge event and festival organisers to take advance on the partner opportunities available.
“There’s also much for us to look forward to this year when we will work in partnership with stakeholders and local businesses to capitalise on the opportunities of the Year of Young People.
“I am excited about the many opportunities that the year ahead will bring including the opening of major visitor attractions, Moat Brae and Kirkcudbright Galleries. We look forward to inspiring, supporting and encouraging visitors to Dumfries & Galloway in the coming year.”


For further information on the Year of Young People and the opportunities available to businesses, visit: http://www.visitscotland.org/business_support/advice_materials/toolkits/yoyp2018.aspx

Tourism businesses in Dumfries & Galloway can take advantage of online tools and practical advice on digital marketing available at: https://www.digitaltourismscotland.com/