Significant boost in tourism due to Borders Railway

Figures have shown there has been a significant increase in tourism in the Borders since the reestablishment of the Borders Railway.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 11:15 am
Borders Railway, Scotrail, Tweedbank line, Newtongrange station. Picture; Ian Georgeson


According to figures, there was a marked improvement in tourism and users of the rail in the first half of 2016 in comparison to data in 2015.

With the continued development of the Borders Railway, there has been a 27% increase in the number of visitors to bed and breakfasts and a 20% increase in food and drink spending.

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Overall, accommodation was more in demand with a 17% rise in demand for stays in the area. The number of days spent by visitors in the Borders also increased by 11%.

In the last year, there has been an 8% increase in the number of people in employment in relation to tourism.

Speaking on the success of the railway and the 2016 figures, Councillor Stuart Bell said: “ Tourism is absolutely vital to the Scottish Borders’ economy, and that is why this substantial rise in tourism activity in the first half of 2016 is so important.

“For the first time in a decade, the Borders have shown improved results in every STEAM category – the only area of mainland Scotland to do so for this period.”

Despite the praise, some businesses do not feel the Borders Railway has been a success and that results have been limited.