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Blooming Marvellous! – £30k VisitScotland boost and heading for Chelsea

December 16th 2016

Scotland’s £240 million* garden tourism industry is set to bloom further after a £30,000 funding boost from VisitScotland.

National garden tourism body Discover Scottish Gardens, which officially launched in 2015 with the help of VisitScotland’s Growth Fund, has received a second round of funding to help develop plans to exhibit at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2017 and to embark on an innovative digital campaign.

Since its inception, Discover Scottish Gardens has attracted 130 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide, working together to showcase the country’s outstanding horticulture.

Created out of an industry demand to work collectively to raise the profile of Scottish gardens both nationally and internationally, the tourism group secured £30,000 in its first year, which contributed towards a launch campaign aimed at visitors to Scotland.

Discover Scottish Gardens has ambitious plans with its ‘Nurturing Growth’ campaign, with the further funding enabling members to take important next steps to raise the importance of garden tourism.  Funding will contribute to 12 months of activity, which will include video creation utilising state-of-the-art techniques as the basis of a dynamic digital advertising campaign and attendance at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Catherine Erskine, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said:  “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland again to boost garden tourism.  In our first year, we made great strides in encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries.  We hope that this new campaign will raise our profile even further and entice garden lovers at Chelsea as well as Londoners and those living in the South East of England to visit Scotland.  As part of our exhibition creative idea, we will quite literally be putting gardens on a giant map of Scotland.”

Discover Scottish Gardens members include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Trust for Scotland, Horticultural Trade Association, Scotland’s Gardens, Attadale Gardens and Cambo Estate.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland boasts beautiful gardens the length and breadth of the country and this award from the VisitScotland Growth Fund will help provide these attractions with an exciting new marketing platform. The Growth Fund is all about encouraging Scottish tourism businesses to work together to promote sectors or destinations, so we are delighted to help the national network with a campaign I am sure will provide a major boost for horticultural tourism in this country.”

On average gardens in Scotland have welcomed 658,000 visitors each year since 2013*.  Average annual total spend has been £240 million since 2013*.

For more information on the VisitScotland Growth Fund, go to www.visitscotland.org

For more about Discover Scottish Gardens, visit www.discoverscottishgardens.org

For further information contact:

[email protected] / 0131 472 2030

VisitScotland Growth Fund, pictured at the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh, 12/12/2016. Photography for Visit Scotland from: Colin Hattersley Photography - colinhattersley@btinternet.com - www.colinhattersley.com - 07974 957 388

*Based on Great British Tourism Survey stats 2013, 2014 and 2015 of people who visited a garden as part of a trip to   Scotland.