New visitor pass only covers central Borders

Borders regional leadershipdDirector Paula Ward.
Borders regional leadershipdDirector Paula Ward.

Tourism businesses in the borders are optimistic about a busy summer season as they gear up to welcome visitors to the region.

VisitScotland regional leadership director Paula Ward said: “Almost three years on from the opening of the Borders Railway, all the evidence points towards the fact that the Scottish Borders has captured the hearts and minds of visitors across the world and is a must-visit destination for more and more people.

“At VisitScotland, we will continue to work closely with communities and businesses to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of the Scottish Borders.

“The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology helped to shine the spotlight on the region’s historic visitor attractions with renewed interest in the castles and historic venues, including the Scottish Borders Heritage Festival which received record visitor numbers. The Year of Young People 2018 offers the opportunity to showcase the diverse range of activities on offer across the region.

“Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland is continually working with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy. Recently, we have been working on the development of a new film highlighting the top nine things to do in the region.

A new Beyond Edinburgh visitor pass was launched last week designed to drive tourism to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. However, because it is off the back of the opening of the Borders railway only visitor attractions in the Melrose and Galashiels area are included in the pass. Savings on food and drink and at retail venues are included in the pass but only Melrose, Galashiels and St Boswells venues are taking part.

Paula Ward said: “The launch of the Beyond Edinburgh pass is just one in a number of innovations and investments the industry has made to capture the hearts and minds of visitors.

“It is fantastic to see so many businesses working together and showing a real commitment to further enhancing the tourism offering along the railway corridor. “The Beyond Edinburgh pass will encourage visitors to take the opportunity to visit many of the unique sites and visitor attractions in the Scottish Borders and Midlothian.”

This linking of the Borders railway and visitor attractions could be a sign of things to come from VisitScotland, if and when a new Edinburgh to Berwick rail service, stopping at Reston, is introduced in the eastern Borders.