Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 15/01/2020

New tourism drive launched for the Scottish Borders and Midlothian

A new campaign aiming to raise the profile of the Scottish Borders and Midlothian as a year-round tourism destination has launched (15 January).

A new consumer website – Scotland Starts Here – will be supported by a digital marketing campaign, including mobile app, podcasts, eBooks, videos, blogs and social media advertising to encourage more visitors to visit and explore the area.

Aimed at visitors from the UK, Europe and international markets, the campaign focuses on four key themes of hidden wonders, active and outdoors, food and drink and history and heritage.

By putting a spotlight on authentic local experiences and award-winning products and businesses, it will increase potential visitors’ awareness of what the area has to offer for short breaks and holidays. It signals the first phase of a new tourism drive across the areas and the wider south of Scotland.

Scotland starts here campaign material

Scotland Starts Here has been developed by the Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) on behalf of the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership and Midlothian Tourism Forum.

Over the past three years, MBTAG has engaged more than 800 businesses in workshops, training and product development to make them more tourism ready.

Four men dressed as Border Reivers charge forward with swords aloft. One man holds up the #scotlandstartshere logo

Get involved

The Scotland Starts Here marketing campaign will be a key tool for both destinations (Scottish Borders and Midlothian), to inspire visitors to come here, discover our fantastic offer and realise that Scotland truly does start here.

But to achieve this, we need to shout loud and clear that we exist and that we’re ready to welcome them all, so now - it's over to you... The team have created a toolkit with details of the social media platforms -Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - as well as #ScotlandStartsHere for you to use and join the converstaion. There's also details of how to feed in your own activity to the campaign.

Read more on Scotland Starts Here and access the industry toolkit

Bookable tours and experiences | for maximum impact online, your business needs to be discoverable and bookable. It’s about how easy it is for a visitor to find your business online, and whether a customer can then book your service online -whether that’s a room to sleep in, a tour, an entry ticket for your attraction, or reserving a table. You can add your experiences to the campain.


For many people travelling to Scotland, the Scottish Borders and Midlothian is where their very first experiences, touchpoints and memories of Scotland are forged. Today’s launch 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 Scottish Borders and Midlothian to the world. 2020 is the start of some big things for our local tourism industry!

Jemma Reid, MBTAG Project Manager

Scotland Starts Here is an exciting campaign that will promote the wealth of fantastic experiences on offer in the Scottish 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.

Neil Christison, Regional Director, VisitScotland

Making Midlothian and the Borders a renowned destination on a global scale is an exciting venture and a fantastic opportunity for Dalkeith Country Park to be part of. We have so much to offer in this wonderful part of Scotland. To have these impressive digital assets to showcase where Scotland Starts to new audiences as well as inspire visitors from around the world is game-changing. We look forward to seeing Midlothian and the Borders thrive as a result.

Remko Plooij, Managing Director, Dalkeith Country Park

Scotland Starts Here is the truth! I t’s the most honest, authentic and factual campaign ever launched in Scotland - we feel privileged to live and work in this magnificent region and to see the Scotland Starts Here campaign harness all the beauty and vitality represented here makes us proud to call the Borders home.

Andy McKenna, Partner, Go-Where Scotland

We have so many unexpected delights that will seduce, surprise and bewitch you – it starts RIGHT HERE!