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Top Trumps!

Press Release   •   Aug 27, 2015 10:35 BST

Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire has scooped VisitScotland’s highest Quality Assurance (QA) award.

The facility, on the Menie Estate at Balmedie, has been awarded its Five Star Activity Centre QA grading from the national tourism organisation in recognition of its high standards. This comes on the back of the Five Star Hotel status awarded by VisitScotland to Trump’s luxury 19-bedroom hotel, MacLeod House & Lodge, 10 months ago.

The 7,400 yard, par-72 championship golf course, designed by renowned golf course architect, Dr Martin Hawtree, threads its way through The Great Dunes of Scotland with panoramic views of the North Sea. Catering for every level of golfer, the Links also has a 22- acre driving range, a 3,500 sq metre putting green and a short game area, featuring six greens, bunkers and various lie conditions.

A wide range of golf coaching programmes are available for beginners, intermediates and experienced golfers, as well as private and corporate groups. Trained caddies with an in-depth knowledge of the course can also be booked.

The coveted VisitScotland five star grading ensures that all areas of an attraction or activity centre show an exceptional level of quality, from the strength of the arrival to the attraction, catering and toilets. Before the grading visit, the centre’s brochure/leaflet/website were looked at, as well as road and directional signs, booking procedure and efficiency and friendliness of staff.

During the visit by the national tourism association’s Quality and Tourism Advisor, a number of other criteria was graded including the car park, price display, appearance of staff, cleanliness of the building, activity experience/instruction, décor and maintenance. Trump International Golf Links attained five stars, or ‘exceptional’ for each section.

On securing the award, Sarah Malone, Executive Vice President at Trump International Golf Links, said:

“We are delighted that Trump International Golf Links, Scotland has been awarded five-star status. Our world-class facilities include one of the largest practice areas in the country with a 22-acre driving range, extensive putting green and short game area.

“Our new clubhouse opened in June and offers our guests – both golfers and non-golfers - a wonderful place to shop, relax and dine whilst enjoying the outstanding views over our award-winning championship golf course. This recognition is testament to our dedication towards quality and service of which we are very proud.”

Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“It is fantastic to see the golfing tourism offering in Aberdeen City and Shire enhanced by Trump International Golf Links’ well-deserved achievement. With Scotland being the home of golf, high-quality golfing facilities are vitally important to our visitors, which is why VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance gradings are so important.

“Developed and improved over the past 25 years, our Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow you to not just meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.

“Quality Assurance is about much more than just the ‘stars’ on your door – it’s about the entire visitor experience, it’s about investing in your business and making it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can possibly be.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme currently boasts over 7,000 participants and has been used as an example of best practice with countries all over the world, including Sweden and Namibia.

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Caption: Pictured (from L-R) are: Sarah Malone, Executive Vice President at Trump International Golf Links, and Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director.

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:
      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.
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    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
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