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Quality boost in Ballater

Press Release   •   Jan 16, 2018 12:29 GMT

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, presenting Daniel and Dominique Drewe-Martin, Owners of Ballater Hostel, with 5-star certificate.

With a lot of hard-work, Ballater Hostel has achieved VisitScotland’s highest accolade. After achieving a 5-star award at their first ever grading visit, Ballater Hostel is now the only hostel in Aberdeenshire to hold the exceptional VisitScotland award.

The Hostel is located in the centre of Ballater, and attracts many of the walkers and outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the Cairngorms National Park.

There are 25 beds on offer at the Hostel with an option of traditional dorm or private rooms, as-well as a large open plan kitchen, dining and communal area with a wood burning stove.

Ballater Hostel has also joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme. Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.

Visitor attractions, accommodation providers and social enterprises have all joined the scheme to become a network of local ambassadors who help ensure visitors receive first-class quality local information about the region and Scotland as a whole.

As well as taking part in the star grading, Quality Assurance scheme and the VIP programme, owners Dominique and Daniel work hard to provide for a wide range of visitors, as evidenced by their participation in the Walkers and Cyclists Welcome Schemes.

Welcome Schemes have been developed by VisitScotland, to complement star grading’s and to guide those visitors with a range of interests to businesses that pay particular attention to their varied needs. Star grading’s and Welcome Schemes help visitors make informed decisions and select businesses that meet, and exceed, these expectations.

Dominique, Owner at Ballater Hostel said:

“Following a very busy year and a lot of hard work it’s great to receive this award.Since we moved to Scotland a year ago, we’ve completed some big projects at the hostel. These were more behind the scenes and weren’t necessarily seen by our guests directly, such as eco-friendly underfloor heating and giving the roof a little TLC, so it is really satisfying to be recognised through VisitScotland.

“We try to experience the hostel from the customer’s point of view - sleeping in all the beds and using all the facilities – so that we can create the best possible experience for our guests.The fact there is so much help and advice online through the VisitScotland website for the QA scheme is really encouraging.”

Michael Coletta at Ballater Business Association said:

“The Ballater Business Association (BBA) is delighted that the hard work of Dominique and Daniel is being recognised.Shortly after moving to the area they had to overcome the challenges that the floods presented us all with, but this seemed to give them even more enthusiasm for their project and their dedication to their business and genuine hospitality has seen them raise the standards of service and quality that everyone has to achieve.They make every guest who stays with them feel like they are visiting old friends and as a consequence I am sure that they will prosper, see guests return and by their reputation, they will bring new visitors to Ballater.The BBA is blessed to have them as active members of the association and will continue to support them as they grow.”

Jo Robinson, Regional Director at VisitScotland said:

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Ballater Hostel on attaining such an outstanding award from VisitScotland – very well-deserved.

“Owners Dominique and Daniel are doing a fantastic job in delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations, which is crucial in making Aberdeenshire a must-visit, must-return destination.

“I’m delighted that the Hostel has also joined our network of VisitScotland Information Partners. It’s another sign for visitors that they will not just get a friendly welcome, but can also talk to staff about the many other things to see and do in Ballater during their stay.

For more information about Ballater Hostel, visit visitscotland.com.

For further information about VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, visit visitscotland.org.

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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • 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 www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.