Press release -

Quality takes root in the Garden

2019 is off to a good start for Scotland’s flagship botanic garden after achieving a prestigious Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which offers visitors the chance to explore more than 70-acres of landscape in the heart of the city, has secured a five-star rating from the national tourism organisation.

It joins Logan Botanic Garden in Dumfries & Galloway and Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders in achieving this grading, which highlights businesses within the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme who provide exceptional customer service, offering the best possible visitor experience.

The Quality Assurance award comes after a successful period for the visitor attraction, with visitor numbers increasing by 5% in 2017*. The Garden, which dates back almost 350 years, features ten magnificent Glasshouses home to 3,000 exotic plants from around the world, including a 200-year-old palm tree. Other highlights include giant redwoods and the exotic Amorphophallus titanum plant, as well as the Inverleith House art gallery.

Kari Coghill, Director of Enterprise and Communication at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh said: “It is important to us that visitors are rewarded with memorable experiences of their time at the Garden and with outstanding customer service. We strive to leave visitors feeling uplifted, better informed about the value of plants and the environment, and to be inspired to return.

“Profits from Glasshouse admissions and attendance at events are vital sources of income to support plant research and conservation programmes in Scotland and beyond. We are delighted that our efforts to engage with visitors and to provide authentic experiences of the highest standard have been recognised by this award.”

VisitScotland Industry Relationship Manager, Alasdair Maclauchlan said: “The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a fantastic example of the quality experience on offer to visitors to Edinburgh.

“To achieve a 5-star grading is a fantastic achievement and congratulations to the entire team at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on making this happen.

“Our Quality Assurance Scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience.”

The VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, which has been developed and improved over 30 years, provides visitors with an independent, impartial and trusted guide to standards.

Delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer scheme members advice and support on how not to only meet visitor expectations but exceed them, the scheme aims to drive standards and encourage excellence whilst helping businesses reach their full potential and secure their success. That in turn delivers great results for Scotland’s tourism industry and economy.

For more information on the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, visit:

For more information on the VisitScotland QA Scheme, visit:

*The latest visitor figures for RBGE in 2017 were 904,956, an increase of 5% from 2016


  • Tourism


  • quality assurance
  • edinburgh
  • corporate communications


  • Scotland

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.
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Scotland’s Themed Years

  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
  • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.

Press contacts

Amelia Whittaker

Press contact Senior Corporate Press Officer - Regional Contact for media enquiries on: South Region; Edinburgh and Lothians; Food and Drink; Scottish Thistle Awards 01750 723806

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