County’s role in tourism push

The new hop on, hop off bus visits a number of Midlothian tourist attractions
The new hop on, hop off bus visits a number of Midlothian tourist attractions

There is warmth in Edinburgh and Lothians this summer – and it’s not only down to the seasonal climate, writes Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland regional director.

Our people are warm too… and friendly, helpful, welcoming and nice. Not my words, although I fully endorse their use, but those of participants in the Visitor Scotland Survey who used them to describe the people they met in Scotland during their visit.

Warmth too is at the heart of VisitScotland’s global campaign.

The Visitor Scotland Survey, the biggest of its kind produced by the national tourism organisation, revealed that 82 per cent of visitors agree that local people add to the holiday experience.

It’s the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design too, which is being celebrated by events across the region. For those of scientific mind, the Science and Technology galleries will display key innovations in science from Scotland and across the world, including the welcome return of first cloned mammal Dolly the Sheep – marking the 20th anniversary of her birth at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, which is also holding events across the summer to recognise the major scientific breakthrough.

Scottish tourism has never been shy from innovation itself, evident recently in Midlothian with the VisitMidlothian Explorer, capitalising on the hugely successful Borders Railway.

The bus service gives rail passengers the opportunity to hop off the train at Newtongrange Railway Station and hop on the bus to explore the nearby attractions, such as National Mining Museum Scotland, Dalkeith Country Park, Butterfly World and Rosslyn Chapel.

These innovations are welcome for not only bringing new experiences for visitors but for creating new opportunities for boosting the local economy – as tourism is much more than a holiday experience.

However, those experiences are hugely important, and with the new season underway, there is no better time to explore Edinburgh and the Lothians and for visitors to share their #ScotSpirit experience online.