The next month promises to be a very busy time for tourism in Midlothian, writes Ian Gardner (Midlothian Tourism Forum).
A new hop-on hop-off bus service has now started, linking the Borders Railway with a number of attractions and destinations across the area.
Starting at the National Mining Museum, the service takes in Dalkeith Country Park, Butterfly World, Straiton retail park, Rosslyn Chapel, Stewart Brewing and Lasswade village
The aim is to make it much easier for visitors to spend longer in Midlothian.
Tourism opportunities across Midlothian will also be promoted to more than 500 tour operators and travel organisers at the annual VisitScotland Expo tourism event, taking place at Ingliston this week, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors as a result.
Looking slightly further ahead, Midlothian Tourism Forum will be launching its new strategy for the next five years at the inaugural Midlothian Tourism Conference, at Newbattle Abbey College on the morning of Thursday, May 26.
We have a packed morning planned, including presentations on tourism across Scotland by Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, the importance of accessible tourism by Chris McCoy and essential tips on digital tourism by Lesley Wood. We will also hear from Calum McNee, of Rabbie’s Small Group Tours, on the customer experience and how we can all make some improvements.
With opportunities for networking with other businesses and organisations from across Midlothian and the chance to hear about the Forum’s priorities for the next few years, we hope that this will be a “must attend” date for many people. Attendance is free for members of the Midlothian Tourism Forum and just £15 for non-members (which can be deducted from a first year's membership).
Booking is essential – for more details, please visit www.visitmidlothian.org.uk.