New brochure bids to give tourism a boost

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Coach tours and travel groups could soon be heading for the Borders instead of just passing through on their way elsewhere.

A new ‘Discover Scottish Borders’ brochure aimed at larger parties has just been published, suggesting five, two-day tours, including ‘Mansions, Monks, Castle & Fine Cloth’ and ‘Stately Homes and Smugglers’ highlighting the key attractions along the way and nearby hotels with 10+ bedrooms.

After visiting a leading travel trade event last year, Business Gateway Scottish Borders’ tourism business adviser realised that more needed to be done to make sure the region was a destination for coaches and not just somewhere they passed through.

He sourced European Development Fund money and enlisted expert travel writer Johanna Campbell to develop the unique routes.

“From my research, coach and group travel companies want to know two things - what there is to do and where they can stay, and they want this information in an easily accessible format,” said Phil McCreadie.

“Providing them with these details in an eye-catching brochure has never been done before and the response so far has been extremely encouraging. I’ve already had meetings with coach companies who are now talking about coming to, and staying in, the region for the very first time because of the brochure.”

Kara Ter Morsche, who promotes Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth, believes the brochure is just what the region and the travel trade need.

She said: “I travelled to Best of British & Irish Expo in March with Phil and we took the brochure with us. One of the first things we noticed was that no other region was able to offer companies such a comprehensive, well-researched and attractive itinerary booklet. It’s exactly what travel trade buyers need.

“The itineraries cover the length and breadth of the region and the brochure helps to show off the region.”

Berwickshire attractions included are: Mellerstain, Hume Castle, Paxton House and The Hirsel (Border Viewpoints and Fine Georgian Houses); Manderston, The Craw Inn and St Abbs (Stately Homes and Smugglers); and Thirlestane Castle, Gunsgreen House and Eyemouth Maritime Centre (Mansion, Monk, Castles & Fine Cloth).

Tourism businesses should call Phil McCreadie on 01835 825605 or email Phil.McCreadie@bgborders.com for a copy of the brochure.