Funds have been awarded by VisitScotland to help establish a network of garden visitor attractions across Scotland, aiming to “grow” the country’s £200million garden tourist industry.
The £30,000 award by Scotland’s national tourism body will help launch the scheme which will bring together important garden sites, nurseries and related businesses under one banner with the aim of increasing visitor numbers. Members of the scheme are set to reap the benefits financially of higher footfalls, as well as driving awareness and interest in national wildlife tourism across Scotland.
Major organisations have signed up as founder members of the scheme including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s Gardens, with more than 100 gardens and estates across the country having signed up already as members.
As well as creating branding for the organisation, the funding will help set up four seasonal Scottish Garden Festivals which are set to attract visitors to a variety of attractions across the country.
Overseeing the new garden tourism network is Chair, Catherine Erskine. She said:“There are a number of organisations that will, for the first time, come together to maximise on the potential to grow garden tourism in this country. The best opportunity we have to do this is through a collaborative approach, working together to help people discover Scottish gardens.”
VisitScotland research indicates that Scotland’s gardens are a major attraction with nearly 700,000 British holidaymakers visiting every year, 35,000 visitors indicating that a garden visit was the number one reason for their holiday. Scotland’s garden tourism industry generates over £200million per year. The network is expected to launch at the Gardening Scotland event in May.
Find out some practical advice for attracting wildlife visitors, encourage them to come back and grow your business by reading Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Wildlife Tourism in Scotland Guide.