As tourism and hospitality businesses across the South of Scotland start to reopen their doors and welcome back visitors, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) is today launching a short film aimed at promoting best practice in safe travel across the region.
The ‘Twinned with Tourism’ film has the tradition of town twinning at its heart. It takes the custom of cross-country friendship and collaboration and creates a new type of twinning – a South of Scotland Promise between local towns and their businesses, communities, and visitors as lockdown restrictions lift. Featuring stunning imagery of landscapes, visitor attractions, activities and people from across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, it tells the story of a region that has been hosting visitors for centuries – and shows that together, we can do it again, safely and warmly, helping to rebuild the local economy.
The aim of the film, that has been created in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise, VisitScotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council, is to help reassure local communities that tourism businesses are reopening safely and respectfully and that communities in turn, can help businesses welcome visitors back. It also encourages visitors to come to the area and know they will be safe and very welcome.
The South of Scotland Promise is on behalf of everyone who can play their part in protecting one another and local communities. It works alongside the VisitScotland ‘Good to Go’ scheme, which allows businesses across all sectors of the tourism industry in Scotland to demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective government and public health guidance. Over 500 businesses across the South of Scotland have already declared they are ‘Good to Go’.
SSDA are urging all local businesses and community groups to share the film from www.SSDAlliance.com/twinnedwithtourism amongst their own networks, download their own ‘Twinned with Tourism’ icon for use on social media and show visitors that the South of Scotland is delighted to welcome them back. A toolkit will also be shared and will be available on the above webpage.
John Henderson, SSDA Director, commenting on the film, said:
“As our industry starts up again, we understand that there may be some worry amongst our communities about reopening the area to visitors. But through this crisis, here in the South we have seen a community spirit that we have not experienced for centuries. Our ‘Twinned with Tourism’ film and South of Scotland Promise harnesses that community spirit and shows that by working together, by being respectful of each other and acting responsibly we can all help the South of Scotland prosper.
“Tourism businesses across the region have been putting the hours in, rethinking plans, retraining staff and working incredibly hard to ensure the warm welcome we’re famous for is still here – keeping everyone safe goes hand in hand with that.”
Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) said:
“We have always said that we are here to do great things in the South, for the South and with the South and this is a great example of this. Following our announcement of funding for the SSDA, we have been delighted to work with them on this first inspirational project at such a crucial time for our region. Tourism, is of course, essential to our economy whilst at the same time, we acknowledge that there may be some nervousness about reopening. We have listened to this, and as such, have been delighted to support this project in order to promote how tourism connects everyone – residents, businesses, and visitors. This new Communities Promise ‘Twinned with Tourism’ is about reassuring people there is a partnership between towns, their businesses, communities, and visitors. We hope that it can support communities, business and visitors to feel safe and allow everyone to enjoy our beautiful region once more.”
VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward said:
“As tourism businesses reopen across the South of Scotland and we begin to welcome visitors back, this film demonstrates how residents, businesses and visitors are all connected by tourism – truly Twinned with Tourism – and by all working together to encourage people to follow this advice, we can help get tourism in the South of Scotland back on its feet in a safe and responsible way.
“We have to ensure that visitors and communities can live in harmony with enough resources for both. The tourism industry across the South of Scotland is taking their responsibilities seriously, working with communities to ensure they are ready to receive visitors. Tourism is a force for good and if managed responsibly, sustains communities in every corner of Scotland.”