It's Scottish Tourism Month!

To celebrate Scottish Tourism Month we wanted to update you on recent activity that MBTAG, along with tourism businesses in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, have been working on to drive tourism in the area and make the area a must-visit location.

Although it is only the end of March, 2018 has already proved to be a big year and we’re only just getting started. We’ve already hosted two incredible workshops on travel trade development and product innovation, held a great Gala dinner and hosted our first inbound tour operator FAM trip.

As always, we have been overwhelmed by the continuous enthusiasm from all of our affiliated businesses. We’d like to thank you all for your support of MBTAG and look forward to helping you grow and develop your businesses over the coming months. Here are just a few highlights, as well as a sneak peek at what’s coming up.

Product Innovation Workshops

In February we worked with Scottish Enterprise to deliver a workshop giving tourism businesses help to understand today’s digital environment, and in particular the customer service expectations that visitors to Scotland have from the tourism companies they book with.

The event was well received and speakers from firms including Scottish Enterprise, Whereverly, Quest Native and University of West of Scotland helped bring to life the technology that we can use to streamline the customer journey and drive repeat purchase.

Travel Trade workshops

24 businesses joined us at four workshops which were aimed at explaining the opportunities that the travel trade offers businesses in the area. Knowing how the travel trade works is extremely important, especially if we want to attract higher spending international visitors to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. We were therefore delighted to be able to learn more about it thanks to insights from VisitScotland and presentations by UK Inbound, Cashel Travel and BTS.

We will be running another series of events throughout 2018 and would love to hear from those who feel they’re ready to get in touch and find out more. Please email Jemma on jemma@mbtag.uk or Fergus Fergus@mbtag.uk for more information.

FAM trip and gala dinner

We were fortunate to be able to showcase the area to some of the UK’s leading inbound tour operators this month, giving them a glimpse into our stunning scenery and fascinating heritage, as well as a chance to experience some of the region’s best outdoor activities. And let’s not forget about the very best of our natural larder which was very well received!

12 operators joined us including representatives from Kuoni, Hotels & More, Jac travel and Cashel Travel, with the group hosted by a number of local businesses including Abbotsford, Ridelines, The Papermill and Roxburghe Shooting School. 

The trip culminated in our first Gala dinner which took place at Duns Castle. Over 20 tourism professionals joined the group to enjoy a dinner by The Orde Food Company, who prepared a truly exceptional meal paired with wines from the castle’s cellar.

What’s next for 2018?

There’s lots more to come this year including some exciting announcements so keep an eye on the website for more information. April is a big month for us and will be the first time the areas attend VisitScotland Expo 2018 as one destination, while a number of business events and FAM trips in the coming months will allow more of our businesses to engage with the industry.

We’ve also got the launch of a new online training module taking place in May. Designed to upskill frontline staff and help them become real destination ambassadors, the new module will help your business have a positive impact on productivity, staff motivation, reduce training costs and increase sales. Sign up here [insert link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mbtag-launch-and-learn-session-for-the-new-online-training-module-for-midlothian-the-scottish-tickets-44668884837]

And finally keep your eye out for news of a new visitor pass designed to boost visitor numbers of Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. Beyond Edinburgh, a digital sightseeing pass launches in May and can be used between May and September in the region’s top attractions, aiming to attract visitors and residents in Edinburgh to increase the number of day trips taken during the summer months. Visit www.beyondedinburgh.co.uk for more information.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about any of the above then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jemma or Fergus https://mailchi.mp/a514c325667a/mbtag-news-tourism-month-newsletter