Scotland’s premier tourist guide organisation has launched a new state of the art website in a drive to attract more visitors to use its members’ services.
The Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) has some 500 professionally qualified members who speak more than 22 languages between them.
Every year its members take thousands of visitors on walking tours, day tours and extended tours around Scotland. A number of guides also have their own vehicles or hire vehicles to take visitors on tour.
The enhanced new website will make it easier to quickly find all guides, their interests, language specialisms, pick-up points and travel suggestions, presented in an easily navigable design.
STGA chairman John Duncan said the site will make it even easier for visitors and agencies to choose guides who suit their needs. He said:
“All of our guides have to go through an intensive training course and learn about subjects ranging from Scottish history to how whisky is made.
“But users of the website will now also be able to identify guides who have expertise in particular areas so it makes choosing a guide much easier than before.”
TV presenter and author Neil Oliver who is honorary president of the STGA said he was very impressed by the new website.
Neil, who wrote and presented the History of Scotland TV series as well as many other history based programmes and the extremely popular Coast series, said:
“Our Scottish guides do a great job in telling visitors about Scotland and enhancing their enjoyment when they come here."
“I think everyone enjoys listening to a good storyteller who can bring a place to life.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:
“The members of theScottish Tourist Guides Association do a fantastic job of showcasing our beautiful country to visitors from all over the world. Their expert knowledge, professionalism and warm welcome are huge assets to our tourism industry and this new website will make it even easier for people around the globe to plan their trip and explore the real Scotland.”
STGA guides come from a wide range of backgrounds including a retired naval commander, head teachers and even a former ambassador.
“Each of our guides brings an individual take on Scotland but they all have to make the grade in our professional training scheme.
“Our aim is simple: to provide clients with professional tourist guides who’ll inspire, educate and entertain.”
As well as the website the STGA also has a telephone booking service.
The website can be found at www.stga.co.uk
Picture caption: Guide Sergio La Spina in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Issued by the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, Norie’s House, 18b Broad Street, Stirling. FK8 1EF
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’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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
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- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
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- 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.
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- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
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