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Beacon museum shortlisted for tourism award

Beacon museum, Whitehaven. Credit: ITV Border

The Beacon museum in Whitehaven, west Cumbria, has been shortlisted for a Cumbria Tourism Award.

The museum received a nomination in the 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' category.

Its visitor numbers have increased by 24%, with over 24,000 visitors over the last year.

This recognition adds to what visitors are already telling us. We hear frequently about how visitors love the new exhibitions and upgraded events. We get excited about innovating and change, so that we remain relevant both for locals and for tourists.

– Elizabeth Kwasnik, museum manager

The Cumbria Tourism Awards will be held on Wednesday, 21st June.

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Tourism boost for Scottish Borders' abbeys

Melrose Abbey Credit: PA

There has been a six percent increase in footfall at historic abbeys in the Scottish Borders.

Over the last 11 months a record-breaking four million people have visited historical sites across Scotland.

Together Melrose, Jedburgh and Dryburgh Abbeys welcomed more than 90,000 visitors, an increase of six percent on the same period last year.

Top of the trio of historic staffed attractions in the Scottish Borders was the medieval Melrose Abbey, which saw footfall increase to 49,566, a jump of around eight percent year-on-year.

That makes it the tenth most visited staffed attraction in Scotland.

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Borders Railway boosts local tourism

Borders Railway Credit: PA

The Borders Railway has helped to boost tourism across the Scottish Borders, according to Visit Scotland.

Regional Director Doug Wilson says that the re-establishment of the Borders Railway has had a huge impact on the number of visitors coming to the south of Scotland.

"More than one million people travelled on the Borders Railway during its first year of operation and going by train on the route has created a superb new tourism experience in itself.

"The re-establishment of the route has had a massive impact on tourism and right across the region, and it shows no signs of slowing down. VisitScotland recently held a successful industry conference in Galashiels, bringing together tourism experts and local businesses to help ensure that together we continue to capitalise on the opportunities that now exist due to increased connectivity and greater visitor numbers."

– Doug Wilson, Visit Scotland

The Borders Book Festival, the Tour of the Borders and the Flying Scotsman returning to the region also contributed to the rise in visitor numbers.

Record numbers were also reached by people attending the Borders Heritage Festival and the Borders Book Festival.

"It is great to see the success of a new festival like the Creative Coathanger, celebrating the region's ties to the textile and creative arts industry. And I was pleased to see the partnership working that helped create the first ever Scottish Borders Winter Festival this December - I know that a great amount of effort goes into making these events a success, many run by local volunteers.

"I would encourage people working in the tourism industry in the Scottish Borders to make the most of the opportunities available from VisitScotland."

– Doug Wilson, Visit Scotland

WATCH: Attracting Americans to the Scottish Borders

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A new video showcasing the best of the Scottish Borders has been created by Visit Scotland.

It's part of a three-year campaign to market the Borders Railway internationally, and put the new 100-mile track on the map.

This video is specifically geared towards attracting more visitors from the United States.

At Visit Scotland we've identified the US market as our biggest single market. We're doing the video to attract people to show them the stunning scenery that's available in the Borders and some of the attractions across the region."

– Doug Wilson, Regional Director Visit Scotland
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