Melrose and surrounding towns in the borders are expected to get a £2 million tourism boost from the Rugby Sevens tournament due to take place this weekend.
The contest, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, is the sport’s longest running tournament and is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
The tournament kick starts the season for businesses bringing an annual tourism boost to the area as approximately 12,000 rugby enthusiasts are expected to descend on the Borders over the course of this weekend.
Firms outwith Melrose will also benefit from the tournament, which has been recognised by Bruce Simpson of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce. Mr Simpson has expressed his support at the “considerable” economic boost but has also acknowledged other advantages, such as the broadcasting of the tournament.
He said: “PR is a major part of this event, with television coverage offering outstanding opportunities to push both Borders tourism, textiles and the economy as a whole”.
Spectator numbers at next year’s tournament are anticipated to increase as visitors will be urged to kick the car into touch in favour of taking the train to the tournament, supplied by Border Railways, another key sponsor of the tournament.
Borders Railway representatives will be on hand this weekend with information for spectators detailing the new railway line expected to open later this year so visitors will be able to enjoy a car free tournament in 2016.
Hugh Wark, project director, at Network Rail said: “The Borders Railway offers a great opportunity for rugby fans and tourists to come and enjoy the Scottish Borders without the hassle of the car from September 2015 onwards.
“The Melrose Sevens is one of many Scottish Borders events that will really gain from having convenient rail access, bringing thousands of tourists from Midlothian, Edinburgh and beyond”.
For up to date information on key trends and what they mean for your business going forward, check out Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Scottish Tourism in the Future guide to unlock your business’s potential.