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Article published 07/07/2023

Introduction from Destination Development Director Gordon Smith

Welcome to the April to June 2023 edition of our regional industry update for the South of Scotland, highlighting some of the ways we’ve been promoting and supporting tourism in the area.

With the season almost in full swing, we are hearing encouraging signs from tourism and events businesses about the season ahead. We know that challenges certainly remain for you all, however as the schools break up for the summer holidays, the appetite for holidaying in Scotland is strong, from both the domestic and international markets.

It has been great to get out and about across the region in recent weeks, visiting businesses in Eyemouth, Annandale, Gretna, Thornhill, Kelso and Melrose.

We’ve been working closely with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Borders Council and Dumfries & Galloway Council on the development of a responsible tourism strategy for the region. Watch out for more details on how you can feed into the development of the strategy through the upcoming consultation. 

Gordon at Gunsgreen

Gordon Smith at Gunsgreen, Eyemouth

The big ticket for this summer is the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships which are just around the corner! In April we marked 100 days to go at a stakeholder event in Dumfries. Excitement is building and I know that tourism businesses are embracing the opportunity to get involved and showcase our amazing region to the world.  

Read on for more information on our activity to support tourism and events in the South of Scotland, and promote the fantastic things to see, do and enjoy.

Global PR for the South of Scotland

UK press activity

  • We issued a media release to mark the anniversary of The Wickerman and its importance to Dumfries & Galloway, which featured in the Herald.
  • A regional media release was issued highlighting the success of our travel trade event VisitScotland Connect and some of the regional businesses that attended.
  • We issued a regional media release highlighting how the Scottish Borders contributed to the success of the Year of Stories 2022.
  • To promote the new Go Rural agritourism map available across our iCentre network we issued a press release, which was marked by a visit from Lily the heifer to Jedburgh iCentre.
To view all the press releases, visit our media centre. 
  • We provided a supporting quote to mark Gunsgreen Tower in Eyemouth, gaining a 4-Star Quality Assurance (QA) Award.
  • To support the launch the new C2C Kirkpatrick Coast to Coast cycling route we worked with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance to provide a quote.
     

Go Rural map launch

Go Rural map launch which took place at Jedburgh iCentre

Regional marketing - latest blogs

Read and share our blogs, which are available on our consumer website visitscotland.com. Latest content featuring the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway includes:

10 Luxury Experiences in Scotland 

6 Destinations for a Romantic Break in Scotland 

10 Food & Drink Award-Winning Businesses  

 

Abbotsford House tours

Image from Abbotsford House tour

Social media stats: April – June 2023

2.3 million

Number of times South of Scotland content reached people on social media

97,700

Number of engagements - reach, likes, comments, shares and saves of South of Scotland posts

571,800

Reach for top performing post which was a Highland cow at Kitchen, Coos and Ewes in Newton Stewart

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will bring together 13 existing UCI World Championships into a new mega event in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3 to 13 August. It will see more than 8,000 cyclists and para-cyclists from over 120 countries taking part.

 

Handy resources for you and your visitors

  1. Want to know more? Visit the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship website to read everything you need to know. This page is a really useful resource.
     
  2. We've pulled together a handy guide for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. Find out about the events happening across Scotland to keep your visitors 'on track'. 
     
  3. Glentress Forest in the Tweed Valley will welcome the world’s best MTB riders to tackle the MTB Marathon (free) and MTB Cross-Country (ticketed) events. A Scottish Borders Partner Toolkit has been created to support you in promoting the event to your visitors.
     
  4. Sign-up to the mailing list to get the inside track on everything 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. They share news, updates, and exclusive content.

UCI cycling championships

2023 UCI cycling World Championships poster

Jedburgh iCentre

Jedburgh iCentre has seen an increase in coach trips passing through the town. Both heading north as far as Orkney and heading south for the ferries at Hull and Newcastle. There has also been a welcome increase in visitors from overseas. We've welcomed visitors from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

We've directed visitors to events taking place locally. These include the Melrose Sevens, The Borders Book Festival, The Jim Clark Rally, Newcastleton Music Festival and the start of the Common Riding and Festival season.

We’ve also been preparing information for the UCI Cycling World Championship events taking place in Glentress and Dumfries.

The iCentre team have also been selling local band tickets, welcomed ancestry hunters and had some queries regarding EV charging points and how overseas visitors can use them.

We had a coronation party outside the iCentre, sold lots of Giacopazzis ice cream and even had to put our Jethart Snails stock into the fridge to avoid the recent hot weather.

We had the pleasure of hosting James and the Golden Fleece who was part of the RHS Flock to the Show trail. We promoted this through social media and took part in the launch of the Go Rural Map. We had a visit from Lily the Hereford Cow and were involved in the promotional photoshoot.

Team Jed

The Team at Jedburgh 'tame' a sheep

Dumfries iCentre

As with Jedburgh there has been a noticeable increase in overseas visitors, especially from France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

The time trials in the UCI Cycling World Championships start from directly outside the iCentre. The team used their extensive knowledge to create Commentary Assistance for the event. We're looking at accommodation and accessible businesses in the town and area.

We also attended the, ‘100 Days To Go’, event at the Crichton. This was ahead of endurance athlete Jenny Tough and influencer Katie Kookaburra retracing the route of the first ever ride by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, from Dumfries to Glasgow. A replica of Kirkpatrick Macmillan’s bicycle was also at the starting line.

Staff attended the launch of, ‘The Women of Dumfries’, at Dumfries Museum. And there was the opening of a pop-up shop for the Museum in the centre of town. A very welcome initiative to attract more locals and visitors into the Museum.

‘Stone by Stone', visited the iCentre at the beginning of May, as part of her nationwide tour, ending at The Royal Highland Show. She brought visitors with her, and a mention in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard, as well as some very welcome coverage on Facebook and Instagram.

Scotland's Year of Stories evaluation

Year of Stories

Photocall for Year of Stories

Find out more about the full impact of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 with key insights, learnings and results.

Read the full evaluation

Future Themed Year

We're asking for your help to scope out options for a future Themed Year. Our Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people. Take part in our survey – it’s open until 20 July 2023.

Complete the survey

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