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Article published 09/12/2022

Networking in East Lothian

In partnership with Visit East Lothian, we hosted the regions tourism industry at an in-person networking event last night (8 December). 

We welcomed over 30 tourism businesses from across East Lothian to get together to share new developments and innovations.

The event was held at Glenkinchie Distillery and Visitor Centre in Pencaitland, East Lothian. Delegates were given the opportunity to network, have a tour of the venue, hear from key speakers and Christmas shop at the Glenkinchie gift shop.

Glenkinchie distillery event

Delegates at the networking event.

Our speakers

John Jenkins, Glenkinchie Brand Lead Guide

Delegates heard about the investment from Diageo into the development over a five-year period. He also shared the experience on offer to visitors and how they continually evolve to attract a wider market and keep the tours innovative and inclusive.

The importance of sustainable travel was discussed and how they are looking to partner with local businesses, so visitors will stay in the region longer. John invited delegates to a tour of the distillery which was later enjoyed by many guests.

Cllr John McMillan, Provost and spokesperson for tourism and economic development

We heard from Provost John McMillan about the importance of partnership working in East Lothian’s tourism industry and how proud East Lothian residents and businesses are of their region.

An overview of Visit East Lothian’s recent successful marketing and social media activity was shared with an ask from delegates to:

John highlighted the importance of the two major golf tournaments in 2022 to East Lothian and celebrated the positive impact they had.

Take a look at Visit East Lothian recent marketing films, which are available for you to view and share from YouTube.

Neil Christison, VisitScotland Regional Director

Neil spoke about how challenging the last couple of years have been and how delighted he was that people had made the effort to join the Christmas networking event.

Neil also thanked East Lothian's tourism industry for their resilience and continued innovation and drive. Congratulations were given to the three excellent domestic marketing campaigns as part of our Destination & Sector Marketing Fund last year; Visit East Lothian, Scotland’s Golf Coast and Dunbar Traders Association, and following a hugely significant year of Golf following the Genesis Scottish Open and AIG Women’s Open which took place in East Lothian this summer. Take a look at the Scotland’s Golf Coast website.

He also discussed the recovery of the tourism industry and how some recent figures are promising and encouraging. Take a look at some of the activity and support available.

About Glenkinchie Distillery

Glenkinchie is a distillery located 15 miles outside Edinburgh in Pencaitland. Delegates at the VisitScotland and East Lothian networking event were given a tour of the distillery and shown the process from grain to glass. The tour was greatly enjoyed by all.

You can find out more information about the distillery and the types of tours available at their website. 

Glenkinchie sculpture

GlenKinchie Distillery tour.

Supporting our industry

Two people working together

One of our most important roles is to support your business and we do this in many ways. Here is some of our latest activity to help your business including advice, funding and more.

Cost of Doing Business

The coming months will be very hard for the tourism and events industry due to rising costs and less disposable income for our customers. We have pulled together advice and guidance to help your business in the short term, and to allow you to build a more sustainable future. Along with our partners, we have a range of advice that could help your business.

Take me to the "cost of doing business" support and advice webpage.

Green certification

As a result of the Sustainability Certification Scheme Fund, three sustainable certification programmes - Green Tourism, Green Key and EarthCheck are offering a £500 discount on their membership fees to those within the tourism industry looking to gain green certification. Find out more about the Green Certification Schemes.

Our Great Days Out campaign

This campaign, working with ASVA, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), and ScotRail promotes discounted tickets to inspire people explore the country on a day out or short break. Aimed at visitors attractions and outdoor operators, if you would like to submit an offer then take a look at our industry guide to get involved.

Scotland Connect

Our new business-to-business travel trade event, VisitScotland Connect, will bring together Scottish suppliers with international and UK buyers in 2023.

The workshop-style event, which will be held at P&J Live in Aberdeen on 19 and 20 April 2023, is now open for registration by trade-ready Scottish businesses.

VisitScotland Connect will replace Expo, our annual travel trade event. 

Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF)

To date, a total of £18 million of grant funding has been awarded to 74 projects across rural Scotland, since the start of the Fund in 2018, to improve visitor facilities and access and to promote low-carbon transport options.

Managed by ourselves on behalf of the Scottish Government, the RTIF was created to improve the quality of the visitor experience in rural parts of Scotland that have faced pressure on their infrastructure due to an increase in visitor numbers.

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