Tourism businesses in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders are embarking on a new marketing campaign designed to revolutionise the area’s visitor economy.

Launching today  (Wednesday 15th January) at National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange , Scotland Starts Here, a travel inspiration website (www.scotlandstartshere.com) has been created to raise the area’s profile as a year-round tourism destination as well as encouraging more visitors to the Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.  The website will be supported by a digital marketing campaign including mobile app, podcasts, eBooks, videos, blogs and social media advertising.

The Scotland Starts Here campaign shocases to visitors that it is in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders that Scotland’s identity and sould were born – not only from a location perspective, but also as two areas that have shaped the nation’s history and culture for centuries.  Aimed at visitors from the UK, Europe and International markets, the campaign focuses on for key themes of Hidden Wonders, Active & Outdoors, Food & Drink and History and Heritage.  By putting a spotlight on authentic local experiences and award-winning products and businesses, it will increase potential visitors’ awareness of what the area has to offer for short breaks and holidays.  It signals the first phase of a new tourism drive across the areas and the wider South of Scotland.

The website also includes a Travel Partners section designed to help Travel Trade Agents build trip itineraries and access marketing information.

Scotland Starts Here has been developed by the Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) on behalf of the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership and Midlothian Tourism Forum.  Over the past three years, MBTAG has engaged over 800 businesses in workshops, training and  product development to make them more tourism ready.  The website and digital activity has been created by The Union and Learn to Love Digital with MBTAG and funded by LEADER and Blueprint.

MBTAG Project Manager, Jemma Reid commented: “For many people travelling to Scotland, the Scottish Borders and Midlothian is where their first experiences, touchpoints and memories of Scotland are forged.  Today’s launch playes to this and celebrated the unique history and cultural experiences that our region has to offer.  We are easily one of the most accessible, most breathtaking and exciting parts of Scotland and we are thrilled that we can now showcase this to the max and through working with local businesses we can take Midlothian and the Scottish Borders to the world.  2020 is the start of some big things for our local tourism industry!”

#ScotlandStartsHere  @Scotlandstartshere

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