Looking forward to a full and exciting tourist season

Paula Ward, VisitScotland regional leadership director.
Paula Ward, VisitScotland regional leadership director.

Tourism businesses are preparing themselves for a busy year as the season gets fully under way.

And regional bosses at VisitScotland are looking forward to a fruitful and exciting season.

Paula Ward, regional leadership director, said the organisation is again anticipating working closely with communities and businesses to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of Dumfries and Galloway.

She said: “The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology helped to shine the spotlight on the region’s historic visitor attractions with renewed interest in the castles and historic venues. Historic sites across Dumfries and Galloway saw a surge in visitor numbers last year as a result.

“The Year of Young People 2018 offers the opportunity to showcase the diverse range of activities on offer across the region, a must-visit destination for outdoor activities, from the 7stanes mountain bike trail at Dalbeattie to the adrenaline-fuelled pursuits on offer at Laggan Outdoors and Galloway Activity Centre.

“Dumfries and Galloway’s reputation as a summer festival destination continues to grow with an incredible line-up once again for this year. With acts including Rudimental and Tinchy Stryder set to appear at Youth Beatz and Noel Gallacher and Idelwild at this year’s Electric Fields Festival, not to mention Groove Armada at the Eden Festival, the region is expected to entertain thousands of visitors from all over the UK this summer.

“It really is an exciting time for tourism in Dumfries & Galloway. With the creation of a new South of Scotland Economic Partnership Agency, tourism businesses in the region have a real opportunity to help influence a new approach to economic development across the South of Scotland.”

Among her highlights for this season, Paula is looking forward to an Ethical Dairy Farm Tour at Cream O’Galloway – Finlay’s Farm in Rainton has adopted a new and ‘ethical’ approach to dairy production with farm tours available from May to October.

Some new driving routes have also been developed - the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has a 35-mile route to give a flavour of all aspects of the biosphere and the natural assets provided by rivers and lochs and the South West Coastal 300 offers a stunning route across South West Scotland.

Paula added: “We have recently launched a new national brand for Scotland – Scotland is Now – in collaboration with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Universities Scotland. Everything about Scotland comes from an authentic place - our beautiful scenery and the warmth of our people which is in abundance.

“I hope residents, businesses and visitors alike have a great season ahead and discover the delights on offer in the region.”