Taking new Borders Railway to the world

Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott
Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott

VisitScotland is investing £367,000 in a unique international marketing campaign to put the new Borders Railway on the map.

The funding has been given by the Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council and Midlothian Council to promote this, the longest new domestic railway to open in the UK for over a century.

With interest in the railway from as far afield as Japan, New Zealand and Canada, VisitScotland has its sights set on the global market as well as the all-important domestic market to ensure visitors are aware of this new tourism experience in Scotland, which will take people deep into the heart of one of the less explored regions of the country.

The campaign will include outdoor, radio, and digital advertising in the UK, Germany and North America. Press trips and PR activity will focus on core markets in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There will also be extensive social media activity, trade media and a dedicated page on visitscotland.com to encourage visitors to explore Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Borders by rail.

Key themes used within the campaign will be ‘soft adventure’ (cycling, walking, mountain biking), food and drink, events, mining, textiles and literature.

A big draw for visitors will be the attractions and landscapes associated with Sir Walter Scott. Delving deep into ‘Scott country’, visitors can start their journey at the Sir Walter Scott monument and then travel the 30 mile route of the Borders Railway, taking in the scenery that inspired Scott’s greatest poems and novels, ending at Tweedbank, just a short distance from his beloved Abbotsford House.

The announcement comes as VisitScotland launches its unique Borders Railway toolkit to ensure businesses are able to make the most of tourism opportunities. The toolkit includes free downloadable artwork, itineraries and information and is available on www.visitscotland.org/borders-railway-toolkit.aspx

SBC leader, David Parker, said: “This is an exciting time for the Scottish Borders as we head towards the opening of the Borders Railway in September. Our historic common ridings take place from June to August each year and we host major international events such as the Borders Book Festival and the Tour of Britain, which will be more accessible to our visitors than ever before.”