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Hearts score VisitScotland hat-trick

Press Release   •   Sep 09, 2014 10:11 BST

A behind-the-scenes guided tour at the home of Heart of Midlothian Football Club has achieved a hat-trick of stars from VisitScotland.

The Tynecastle Stadium Tour, which has been operating in Gorgie since 1998, has been awarded a three-star “very good” grading under the national tourism organisation’s world-leading Quality Assurance Scheme.

Giving die-hard Jambos and football fans in general the chance to see everything from the dressing rooms to the dug-outs, the tour offers an in-depth look into one of the country’s most famous football clubs.

Operated by the Big Hearts Community Trust, the personal show-round of the stadium allows visitors the chance to see a range of memorabilia, including some of Hearts legend John Robertson’s Scotland shirts, footballs dating back more than 100 years and memorabilia accumulated through the club’s various adventures in Europe.

Fans can also learn about heroes from Hearts’ past – including the likes of the Terrible Trio of Alfie Conn, Jimmy Wardhaugh and Willie Bauld, and Scotland great Dave Mackay.

The main highlight of the tour, however, is a walk down the famous Tynecastle tunnel – where some of the country’s greatest footballers have run out to cheers from thousands of adoring fans.

Alan White, who operates the tour, said: “This is a great accolade for the hard work we’ve put into making the tour a truly memorable experience for die-hard Jambos and for football fans in general. It is important to have this recognition from the national tourism organisation and we are delighted to add our VisitScotland plaque to our trophy collection.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Edinburgh and the Lothians, said: “I would like to congratulate Hearts and the Big Hearts Community Trust on achieving this three-star grading for the Tynecastle Stadium Tour. Having an official grading means that visitors know exactly what they are going to get, with the Tynecastle Stadium Tour providing a fascinating, behind-the-scenes insight into this famous football club.” 

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme currently boasts more than 6,000 participants.  Ninety-four per cent of participants in the scheme, which has been used as an example of best practice in countries all over the world, including Sweden and Namibia, have made an investment in their business in the last two years totalling around £70 million.

To book your place on the Tynecastle Stadium Tour, phone 0131 200 7219.

Notes to Editors:

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • 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.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry 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.
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