THE future stars of the tourism industry in Dumfries & Galloway were given the opportunity to show off their talents to VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead recently as part of his annual Listening Tour of the region.
A group of hospitality students welcomed Mr Roughead for breakfast in the Zest restaurant at the Dumfries Campus where the students are able to experience on-the-job training in a real life working environment.
The rising stars of the tourism industry in Scotland – which included Activity Tourism students from Lockerbie and Annan Academy – were also given the opportunity to talk directly to Mr Roughead.
His tour also included a tour of local visitor attractions and businesses capitalising on the region’s unique heritage, natural environment and people.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s people are at the heart of the success of Scottish tourism with the warmth of their welcome world-renowned. 2018, the Year of Young People, is just around the corner and we want to celebrate their achievements and create new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.
“Tourism is at the heart of economic success in Dumfries & Galloway – it creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of the region all year round. The businesses I have visited on my tour are showcasing the best of what the region has to offer – from its unique heritage to its outstanding natural larder and we will continue to deliver economic success by showcasing the region on a global stage as a place to visit and invest in.”
Carol Turnbull, Principal of Dumfries College, said: “We recognise that tourism is a key economic driver in the region and are looking to expand and strengthen our relationships with businesses and industry representatives to ensure we deliver the most relevant vocational and technical skills training to meet their needs.”
The two-day tour Listening Tour of Dumfries & Galloway started at Devils Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, which achieved its Five Star Museum Quality Assurance (QA) Award from VisitScotland last year following the development of a new state-of-the-art exhibition space.
The tour moved onto Scotland’s most southerly distillery at Annandale Distillery, which has also seen significant investment in recent years. Other sights on the tour, which builds on the success of previous Listening Tours around the country, included a visit to Hetland Hall Hotel, near Carrutherstown, which is to undergo a £2million refurbishment and expansion after being acquired by the RAD Hotel Group, which marks their first investment in Dumfries & Galloway. The tour finished at VisitScotland’s iCentre at Whitesands, Dumfries, where Mr Roughead met with local staff and Ian McAndrew, Scotland’s Chef of the Year 2016, and Chair of Visit South West Scotland.
Zest restaurant is open to the public on set days during term-time. Bookings can be made online via Dumfries College website or by email on email@example.com