Tourism businesses across the Borders are being invited to attend the annual Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership (SBTP) Conference on Thursday 23rd March at the Tower Mill in Hawick.
Following last year’s sell-out attendance, this year’s Conference theme is Collaboration & Connectivity: Moving the Borders Forward. The day sets out to explore how businesses can capitalise and build on the recent growth in visitor numbers and investments within the tourism sector.
Businesses will hear from an exciting speaker line-up including:
- Charlie Smith, VisitScotland
- Tom Campbell, North Highland Initiative & North Coast 500
- The Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group
- Scottish Borders Winter Festival
- John Fordyce, The Borders Distillery
- Robert Kennedy, Supercontrol
The talks will present a view on what’s happening within the wider Scottish tourism industry, include some examples of best practice from around the country as well as what’s happening with new local initiatives. There will also be opportunities for networking and to visit a showcase of local business exhibitors.
Details of the Conference follow the publication of data which revealed that tourism in the Borders has received a major boost since the introduction of the Borders Railway. In January 2017, the Scottish Tourism Economic Assessment Monitor (STEAM) statistics showed a significant improvement in key tourism performance figures in the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015 when the railway was not yet open.
- The number of visitor days in hotels and bed and breakfasts has risen by 27 per cent
- There has been a 20 per cent rise in visitor spend on food and drink
- Visitor spend on accommodation is up 17 per cent
- A 16 per cent rise in overall visitor spend
- The number of days visitors stayed in the Borders has increased by almost 11 per cent
- Eight per cent increase in employment related to tourism
Carol Ann Houghton, Chair of The Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership, said: “There is a real groundswell of excitement and enthusiasm within our local tourism industry at the moment. With visitor numbers growing, increased investment and lots of business innovation and diversification underway, this year’s Conference aims to help us all realise our potential and take the sector from strength to strength. We’re urging all tourism businesses, big or small to come along and see how they can maximise the opportunity.”
VisitScotland Director of Marketing, Charlie Smith said: “I am delighted to be taking part in this year’s Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership conference. As recent figures show, the opening of the Borders Railway has had a major impact on the local area. We want to ensure that we continue to build on this success by helping to support businesses to make the most of the opportunities for greater collaboration and digital promotion that exist in the Scottish Borders today.”
Delegate tickets cost £25 and must be purchased in advance from www.scottishborderstourismpartnership.co.uk/sbtpevents/
The Scottish Borders Tourism Conference is kindly supported by the following sponsors:
- Bruce Stevenson
- Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce
- Scottish Borders Council
For further details please contact Vicki Steel on Vicki@aikwoodtower.com