Tourism businesses across the Borders are being invited to attend the annual Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership (SBTP) Conference on Thursday 23rd March at the Tower Mill in Hawick.
Following last year’s sell-out attendance, this year’s Conference theme is ‘Collaboration & Connectivity: Moving the Borders Forward’. The day sets out to explore how businesses can capitalise and build on the recent growth in visitor numbers and investments within the tourism sector.
Businesses will hear from an exciting speaker line-up including:
- Charlie Smith, VisitScotland
- Tom Campbell, North Highland Initiative & North Coast 500
- The Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group
- Scottish Borders Winter Festival
- John Fordyce, The Borders Distillery
- Robert Kennedy, Supercontrol
The talks will present a view on what’s happening within the wider Scottish tourism industry, include some examples of best practice from around the country as well as what’s happening with new local initiatives. There will also be opportunities for networking and to visit a showcase of local business exhibitors.
Details of the Conference follow the publication of data which revealed that tourism in the Borders has received a major boost since the introduction of the Borders Railway. In January 2017, the Scottish Tourism Economic Assessment Monitor (STEAM) statistics showed a significant improvement in key tourism performance figures in the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015 when the railway was not yet open.
- The number of visitor days in hotels and bed and breakfasts has risen by 27 per cent
- There has been a 20 per cent rise in visitor spend on food and drink
- Visitor spend on accommodation is up 17 per cent
- A 16 per cent rise in overall visitor spend
- The number of days visitors stayed in the Borders has increased by almost 11 per cent
- Eight per cent increase in employment related to tourism
Carol Ann Houghton, Chair of The Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership, said: “There is a real groundswell of excitement and enthusiasm within our local tourism industry at the moment. With visitor numbers growing, increased investment and lots of business innovation and diversification underway, this year’s Conference aims to help us all realise our potential and take the sector from strength to strength. We’re urging all tourism businesses, big or small to come along and see how they can maximise the opportunity.”
VisitScotland Director of Marketing, Charlie Smith said: “I am delighted to be taking part in this year’s Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership conference. As recent figures show, the opening of the Borders Railway has had a major impact on the local area. We want to ensure that we continue to build on this success by helping to support businesses to make the most of the opportunities for greater collaboration and digital promotion that exist in the Scottish Borders today."
Delegate tickets cost £25 and must be purchased in advance from www.scottishborderstourismpartnership.co.uk/sbtpevents/
The Scottish Borders Tourism Conference is kindly supported by the following sponsors:
- Bruce Stevenson
- Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce
- Scottish Borders Council
For further details please contact Vicki Steel on Vicki@aikwoodtower.com
About the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership (scottishborderstourismpartnership.co.uk)
The Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership (SBTP) is the umbrella association for all tourism businesses in the Scottish Borders. It is made up of mainly private sector companies working with Visit Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, The Forestry Commission and Business Gateway to promote the local tourism industry. Established in 2005, it represents over 450 businesses across all areas of the tourism sector, including Self Catering, Bed & Breakfast, Caravan & Camping, Hotels, Visitor Attractions, Food and Drink, Ancestry, Events and Festivals and Retail.
The primary function of the SBTP is to direct the tourism strategy so that it meets the needs of the businesses operating within all the tourism sectors in the Scottish Borders. In addition the partnership acts as a 'hub' for the exchange of ideas, promotes best practice and raises awareness of relevant issues amongst the trade encouraging economic growth in the sector.
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:
- 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
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- 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.
- 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.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- 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 events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017