Steam railway boosts Scotland tourism significantly

Published on : Thursday, December 24, 2015

Visit-Scotland-Business-TourismA huge tourism boost has occurred due to the new Borders Railway with a 20 per cent rise in visitors to some attractions resulting in shop takings doubling. The news comes after
VisitScotland launched a three-year international marketing campaign to attract tourists from around the globe.

Since the route was re-opened by the Queen with an historic steam journey along the 30-mile, £350 million track in September, visitors from America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and the UK have come over. They have visited the attractions ranging from Melrose Abbey and Abbotsford House to the National Mining Museum Scotland and Rosslyn Chapel.

There were also 17 sold out steam trains carrying around 6,200 passengers on special return journeys from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.

New passenger figures are due in the new year. By October 125,000 had travelled on the
railway.

Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House reported an 18.4 per cent increase on 2014 visitor
numbers.

There’s also the £5.2m Galashiels Transport Interchange that forms a new bus station and
business hub, and aims to direct footfall into the town centre.

Other facilities include a café, seating, tourist information, bus and train real-time
information and a railway ticket machine. It also has showers, changing facilities and bike
lockers to promote cycling and walking.

Businesses in Galashiels have reported significantly increased activity since the railway
opened, thanks to the TI directing people into the heart of the town.

Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, said the Borders Railway is “breathing new life into the
region”, adding that it “has clearly struck a chord with local communities and tourists from
across the world alike providing them with opportunities to enjoy the many wonderful
attractions and experiences the Borders has to offer and I look forward to its continuing
success”.

Originally, the Waverley Route ran south from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and the
Scottish Borders, to Carlisle.

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