Last week, the Borders welcomed a group of Norwegian and Swedish delegates, in a return visit that suggests a positive future for corporate and international tourism in the area.
Over 20 delegates enjoyed a three-day tour of the Borders, exploring the culture, pursuits and stunning scenery of the region.
The visitors work for the VOLT fashion chain in Norway – a large retailer and importer of the Borders’ famous Lyle & Scott products. In 2012, 15 employees of the company won a competition to sell the most Lyle & Scott knitwear in their shops - the prize: a trip to the Borders, to learn about the region’s textile history, and to sample what the Borders has to offer. VOLT was so impressed with their time here that they organised another competition to mark the company’s 140th anniversary this year.
After setting up what they call a ‘Volt clan’ in 2012, the organisers thought it only appropriate that they should participate in a Highland Games.
The games were hosted by BlueSky Experiences, a Perth-based company, who were delighted to bring caber tossing, haggis hurling and more to the Borders. Returners and newcomers alike got into the spirit of things.
A trip to new visitor centre Born in the Borders showed the delegates that the Borders produces far more than just the high quality knitwear it is known for – with everything from haute couture to furniture to locally brewed beer.
The delegates were delighted with the programme of events and with the Scottish Borders region.
Morten Erichsen, owner of SMD Holding AS, exclusive importers of Lyle & Scott products to Norway, said: “Part of the goal for the visit was for them to get to know the Borders, and maybe be charmed by the way of life and the scenery.
“I find the Scots to be very friendly and easy going and in many respects much like the Norwegians.”