South Scotland

New south of Scotland tourism boss flags up 'opportunities'

Dumfries and Galloway finish Image copyright Mark Runnacles
Image caption The Tour of Britain comes back to Dumfries and Galloway later this year

The new head of tourism in the south of Scotland has flagged up the Tour of Britain and the Borders Railway as key opportunities to boost visitor numbers.

Doug Wilson took up his role covering Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders in April.

He said he believed the area could offer "something for everyone".

He highlighted a string of attractions including outdoor pursuits, festivals, food and drink and the common riding events.

'Fantastic opportunity'

Mr Wilson lives in the Borders but his role as regional director also covers the neighbouring region of Dumfries and Galloway.

He said he was looking forward to seeing some of the world's best cyclists in Castle Douglas in September.

Image copyright VisitScotland
Image caption Doug Wilson took up his post in April covering the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway

He described the Tour of Britain as a "fantastic opportunity to showcase the impressive scenery and warm spirit of the region's people on a global stage".

The Borders Railway has already had a huge impact on the region and Mr Wilson said he expected its importance to grow further.

"The number of people travelling on the Borders Railway has surpassed all expectations," he said.

"As we hit the summer months we hope to see the numbers rising again.

"The last year has been incredible for the region with the launch of the Borders Railway which has opened up the region to the global market."

He listed a string of other attractions the area had to offer including:

  • the Wigtown and Borders book festivals
  • the 7stanes mountain bike trails
  • Park Fest in Stranraer and the Portpatrick Folk Festival
  • the King of the 7s rugby competition
  • the former home of Sir Walter Scott, Abbotsford House
  • the Borders abbeys
  • the Scottish Borders Walking Festival
  • the Stowed Out festival
  • the Crawick Multiverse.

He added that the area was "full of hidden gems" but said it was time to "share them with the rest of the world".

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