New survey puts visitors to Borders in focus

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VisitScotland has revealed the most in-depth research on visitors to the Borders ever carried out by the organisation.

The Scotland Visitor Survey asked holiday makers what they thought of the Borders and what particular aspects appealed. The results offer a fascinating and diverse ‘snap shot’ of what Borders’ visitors look like.

The Scotland Visitor Survey shows that the area continues to charm the world with 86% of visitors likely to recommend to others, and a further 91% planning to make a return trip in the next five years.

The Borders’ renowned hospitality came up trumps with 83% saying they were impressed with accommodation providers’ friendly and efficient service.

This new survey has also illustrates that the holiday experience doesn’t just stop at the last day of the holiday. Social networking is fast becoming an integral part of the visitor experience with 53% now going on to share their experiences online after they returned home through uploading photos, updating their facebook statuses about their trip and leaving reviews.

The survey went on to ask about visitor experiences within the network of VisitScotland Information Centres around the country and found 89% of those asked received a friendly and efficient service.

Paula MacDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “Understanding what our visitors enjoy and their motivation for coming to the Borders is crucial if we are to make the most of every opportunity that tourism has to offer. I am delighted that such a high proportion of holidaymakers would recommend a visit to the area.”

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “The Scottish Government is working with VisitScotland, other agencies and the industry to ensure all visitors to Scotland receive the warmest of welcomes and a unique, enjoyable experience that will help to foster fond bonds, resulting in return visits.

“These results build on new statistics published earlier this month, which show Scotland’s tourism industry is strengthening. In the first nine months of 2011 we saw an eight per cent increase in visitors to Scotland.

“This is an exciting time for tourism in Scotland as we have many major events and milestones to look forward to, including the release of Disney-Pixar’s Brave this year, the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.”

The research was carried out for VisitScotland by TNS Research International and includes a wide ranging dissection of our country’s visitor experiences looking at everything from travelling habits, activities to social media usage.