Tourism tips for Cumbrian businesses

Businesses from across the Eden have taken part in a tourism summit to learn about how to maximise the tourism potential for the area.

Housesteads Crags

Great Wall meets Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall is developing a partnership with The Great Wall, both beauty spots will feature in a photography exhibition in London.

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Blacksmiths shop gets hitched to tourism royalty

The Gretna Green marriage anvil Credit: ITV News Border

Five Star Visitor Attraction status is being bestowed upon the Gretna Green Famous Blacksmith Shop.

The 300-year-old attraction is now officially in the same league as the Royal Yacht Britannia at Leith and the Glasgow Science Museum.

Visit Scotland is handing over a plaque to the shop, which attracts 750,000 visitors every year.

Only ten percent of visitor attractions graded under the scheme achieve the prestigious five star award.

Full report: Tourism boost plans for Cumbria

It is a tourism strategy that could bring thousands more visitors and millions more pounds to the Lake District.

Government Culture Secretary Maria Miller has outlined a partnership that intends to bring more international tourists to the UK.

International tourism is already a large part of the tourist industry in the Lakes and industry experts welcomed the plans, which seek to continue to boost the image of Britain after the success of last year's Olympic Games.

Andy Burn reports:

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Full Report: Annandale Distillery to open in 2014

Scotland's most famous export could soon be bringing tens of thousands of tourists into Dumfries and Galloway.

The newest distillery in Scotland will be opened near Annan next year after a multi-million pounds investment.

It is the brain child of a former chemist who aims to create a tourist attraction at the distillery.

Professor David Thomson believes up to 50,000 people could visit.

Matthew Taylor reports:

Annandale Distillery to open next year

The newest distillery in Scotland will be opened in Dumfries and Galloway next year, after a multi million pound investment.

The distillery, near Annan, dates from the 19th century but closed ninety years ago.

David Thomson works at the distillery and he says it is brilliant for the building to be given a new lease of life:

Scottish tourism boss visits Annandale Distillery

Scottish tourism boss Dr Mike Cantlay is visiting the site of the Annandale Distillery in Dumfries and Galloway today.

The historic buildings of the former distillery, which closed 90 years ago, have been fully restored over the past two years and work is due to be completed this month.

The site is expected to become one of the region's major attractions and is scheduled to open next year, in time for Homecoming Scotland.

Dr Cantlay will also open a new luxury accommodation development for visitors to Gretna Green.

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Shoppers say they like the "variety" in Border towns

Melrose High Street Credit: ITV Border

Visitors to Melrose say they enjoy spending time in Border towns, because they like the variety of smaller, independent shops.

An annual survey suggests visitor numbers are up in the region for the first time in four years

Melrose and Jedburgh have seen the biggest increase in footfall, whilst Hawick and Peebles have seen a drop in visitor numbers.

Councillor Stuart Bell from Scottish Borders Council says they have noticed increased footfall in areas where town centre improvements have been carried out.

He said:

"We have put some effort into improvements in Melrose for example, and there are some local traders that are providing a good specialty service to the customers.

"The traders themselves have got together to organise events, to encourage people to shop in the towns.

"We are looking at the classifications of what we call prime retail frontage, which attract shoppers into the town centre, to see how we can attract more visitors."

Increase in Scottish Borders tourism

There's encouraging economic news from the Scottish Borders.

In its annual report, the local council says it has seen a slight increase in the number of people visiting towns there.

A one percent increase for the previous year, compares with successive decline over the past two years of 7.9 and 7.6 per cent across the region.

A growth in so called footfall was noted this year in all town centres except Hawick and Peebles.

“Whilst there are significant challenges and pressures faced by our town centres from the economic downturn and the rise in the use of internet shopping, this survey does give some grounds for hope.

“The Council is very conscious of the vital role that our town centres play in the economic and social life of the Borders and will continue to promote projects aimed at improving their future prospects.

"Projects have included town centre improvements in Melrose and Galashiels, and there are town heritage projects in Kelso and Selkirk being taken forward.”

– Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development, Scottish Borders Council

Boost for local tourism as Scotland named world's top destination

A local festival could see a major boost in visitors after Scotland was named number one on a list of top travel destinations in 2013, by CNN.

Dumfries and Galloway's Wildlife Festival ( March 29th- April 14th) was picked out as a highlight for tourists in what's being branded as the Year of Natural Scotland.

The travel website also cites the new National Trail, linking Kirk Yetholm in the Borders with Cape Wrath in the Highlands, as a major draw for visitors who want to enjoy Scotland's scenery.

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