Falkirk area 'ticks all tourism boxes' says VisitScotland ahead of easing of restrictions

As restrictions ease, plans are in place to welcome back visitors to Falkirk district in the safest way possible.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 12:30 pm

The region “ticks all of the tourism boxes” and will play a crucial role in the revival of the industry nationally, according to Neil Christison, VisitScotland regional director for Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

Reflecting on a year of lockdowns and what the future holds for tourism in Forth Valley, Mr Christison said: “A year ago, many of us may have scoffed at the thought of Covid-19 still altering our way of life but here we are.

“Thankfully there is hope on the horizon as April 26 brings us more normality and the much-needed re-opening of tourism.

Falkirk area attractions like The Kelpies will play a pivotal part in rejuvenating the country's tourism industry, says VisitScotland. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“The country can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the longed-for date marks more freedom to travel overnight, and, depending on local restrictions, the return of visitor attractions and eating out.

“In Falkirk and the wider Forth Valley we have faced some huge challenges along with the rest of the country. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on tourism but I have been proud to witness the resilience of the industry as in the face of unprecedented times they’ve updated their operations and adapted to new protocol, giving visitors a sense of security.

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“VisitScotland has continued to work closely with partners across the tourism and events industry to provide a source of guidance and support. Most recently that support has come in the form of vital funding dispersed by VisitScotland to businesses across the country.

“We are also working with communities to ensure that both visitors and locals can have a fantastic experience when tourism starts to rebuild itself.

“Tourism businesses are very much a vital part of communities, helping them to thrive. But it is also important to consider the welfare of these communities and I am looking forward to undertaking the second in a series of community engagement exercises later this month in Falkirk in order to understand the local issues in more detail.

“With the move towards re-opening we can also focus on reviving our strategical marketing to ensure visitors throughout Scotland and across the border know that Falkirk ticks all of the tourism boxes.”

VisitScotland has partnered with Falkirk Council to launch a targeted regional recovery marketing campaign in the coming months and is also set to press play on Film on Forth and Access Forth Valley Growth Fund campaigns which had been paused due to the pandemic.

Mr Christison added: “As we begin to usher visitors into our communities again, it falls to us all to ensure the industry recovers in a way that allows tourism to thrive now and in the future.

“It’s important this is done in a responsible manner. The litter dumped across Scotland could fill 50 of The Kelpies each year so it is essential we all do our part to respect local communities, while enjoying the spectacular places we have on our doorsteps and not put undue pressure on infrastructure, communities and our natural assets.

“In line with this, VisitScotland launched a £124,000 responsible tourism campaign last month to raise awareness of the importance of exploring the outdoors responsibly with the focus on asking people to leave no trace of their visit and protect Scotland’s stunning countryside. So make sure you #RespectProtectEnjoy.”

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