Thousands of pounds agreed to promote region

Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to allocate over £200K to promote the region in the UK and abroad.

The funding will be used by VisitScotland to market the region from 1 June 2015 to 30 April 2016 and will help to run visitor information centres in Dumfries, Gretna, Stranraer, Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas.

It will also drive seasonal direct mail/marketing campaigns as well as a campaign to attract golfers to the region.

Councillors were told this week that booking numbers have increased in the region and visitor information centres generated over £89K in bookings 2013/2014. The economic impact for the region as a result of VisitScotland’s marketing activity directly funded by council support has increased from £3,294,379 in 2012/13 to £3,463,691 in 2013/14.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chairman of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee said: “Tourism is recognised as one of the main drivers for the region’s economy and is a key sector supported by the council. The value of tourism to the region in 2014 was £290.5 million with around 5,713 direct and 1,221 indirect jobs dependant on this sector. The investment today shows our continuing support of tourism and follows the extremely successful regional tourism conference which took place at the end of April attended by over 180 tourism representatives.”

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “I am delighted that Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed details of its continued investment in tourism in the region. As the council recognises, tourism is at the heart of the visitor economy in Dumfries and Galloway, generating business growth opportunities by showcasing the very best of what the region has to offer.

“We are committed to working closely with both the Council and industry partners in the region to build on the successes which have been achieved to date and to maximise the potential for the further development of tourism in Dumfries and Galloway - ensuring that it is increasingly seen as one of Scotland’s premier destinations of choice.”

VisitScotland is a national agency funded by the Scottish Government with a remit to market Scotland as a quality destination, provide information for visitors, deliver quality assurance for the industry, and attract and support national and international events.