Local MSP John Lamont has urged the Scottish Government to do more to promote cross-border tourism and the Scottish Borders as a tourist destination.
In the Scottish Parliament today (Wednesday 21st), John Lamont asked the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Fiona Hyslop about the Borderlands Initiative and the promotion of the Scottish Borders and wider region as a tourist destination.
The initiative, launched in August 2013 by the Scottish Government and relevant Scottish and English Councils has held two summits in 2014, but little has happened since despite there being widespread support for closer cooperation and better promotion of the Borderlands as a destination.
The Scotland Office has also confirmed with John that they share his desire to move this initiative forward.
In response, the Cabinet Secretary agreed to consider the issue and said she would seek to raise it at future meetings with her counterparts across the UK.
John Lamont MSP said: “The Scottish Borders is a fantastic place to visit and there is huge potential to promote it and the wider region in a better way.
“The Borderlands Initiative had cross party and cross border support and it seems a shame that this work seems to have stalled recently. The Scotland Office are keen to get this initiative moving and I’m glad the Cabinet Secretary has also agreed to do more to promote cross-border cooperation on tourism.
“We are blessed to have some of the most stunning countryside that Scotland has to offer. In addition to our historical buildings, beautiful towns and great local produce our region is one of the most attractive to visit in the whole of the UK.”
John added: “I’m pleased both the Scottish and UK Governments share my desire to do more to promote the Borderlands. Tourism is an incredibly important industry in the Borders, providing a huge boost to our local economy. I think we could be getting a bigger slice of the £5bn spent each year by tourists in Scotland which is why I support promoting the Borderlands as a destination.”