New Borders railway choo chooses tourism

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VisitScotland is hoping the new Borders Railway, due to open in September, will become a tourism magnet for international and UK visitors.

With a recent report revealing that over a 35% of people visit the Borders for the landscape and scenery, it is hoped that Scotland’s newest scenic railway will inspire the 3.4 million people who currently visit Edinburgh every year, to discover, explore and spend more time in the Borders.

VisitScotland, alongside local authorities and partners, is developing an ambitious, targeted and co-ordinated marketing programme that brings to life the Borders Railway. With details due to be released in the next few months, this activity will target potential leisure and business visitors from domestic and international markets, encouraging them to visit Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Borders as part of their Scotland experience.

The campaign will offer a vital platform for the three regions to showcase new and existing tourism product along the line.

Scottish Borders Council leader, Councillor David Parker said: “These are exciting times for the Borders. For the first time in over 40 years our visitors will be able to visit us by train and will arrive a stone’s throw from spectacular attractions such as Abbotsford - the former home of Sir Walter Scott, Melrose Abbey and the Tweed Valley, home of world class mountain biking.

“Our bustling town centres are filled with shops and places to eat out and relax, set into the stunning backdrop of the Eildon Hills. 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 due to the Borders Railway. We are grasping this opportunity with both hands and extend a warm welcome to all of our visitors in 2015 to join us at this exciting time.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland added: “Railway journeys have captured the imagination of visitors for decades, and to be able to present to the world this magnificent new train line which takes people on a journey deep into the heart of Sir Walter Scott country, is truly exceptional.”