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​Borders Railway gets royal seal of approval

Press Release   •   Aug 03, 2015 16:35 BST

As Her Majesty The Queen is announced to officially open the Borders Railway on Wednesday 9 September, the day she becomes Britain’s longest serving monarch, Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

“It is an honour that Her Majesty The Queen will be coming to Scotland to officially open the Borders Railway on what is truly a very special day for her - becoming Britain’s longest serving monarch. Royal connections to Scotland are incredibly strong, and so there is no better place to be than our wonderful capital city, launching one of our most exciting new attractions - The Borders Railway.

“The new Borders Railway, which delves deep into Sir Walter Scott country, presents a huge opportunity for Scottish tourism. The scenery from Edinburgh through Midlothian down to the Scottish Borders and back again is remarkable and I have no doubt that visitors will make the journey just for the experience as well as to visit the many attractions along the way. The romanticism captured by the steam trains that will be traveling on the line during the first six weeks after opening will give the route added value, following in the tracks of the Jacobite steam train journey from Fort William to Mallaig which welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

“We are excited that we are moving ever closer to the launch of this magnificent new line and we are working with partners to ensure the tourism potential of our Borders Railway is fully realised both nationally and internationally, encouraging visitors to explore yet more of Scotland’s beautiful urban and rural landscapes. We look forward to what will be a truly wonderful official opening event.”

The Borders Railway will open to the public on Sunday 6 September 2015.

The project is being delivered as part of the Borders Railway Blueprint, that sets out an ambition to fully realise the economic benefits of the Borders Railway, transform tourism opportunities and open up communities in South-East Scotland as new places to live, work, learn, play and grow. More info on the Borders Railway Blueprint can be found here -

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
    • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit