Last weekend in the Scottish Borders there were a number of key events going on throughout the Scottish Borders that are key in the Borders Event Calendar.
Firstly there was the Border Union Show in Kelso held each year on the last Friday and Saturday in July. Judging by how far down we were in the carpark at Friars Haugh when we arrived on Saturday lunchtime this years event was again a great success. Yes you can argue it is a local event and its a chance for particularly the farming community to meet up and network. But there are also alot of visitors and people who visit the Borders specifically for the show. It also each year highlights to me the wealth of opportunities that there are on my door step and certainly will encourage me to try new things out as well as yet again showing me the wealth of local food produce on my doorstep.
Next at the other side of the Scottish Borders was Traquair Fair in the historic house of the Maxwell Stuarts. Again when we visited on Sunday the car park was nearly full and it was also good to see so many people camping who were staying for the weekend. This was different from the Border Union Show more arts and culture and crafts but again showcasing the best of what the Borders can do. Judging from the voices many of the people attending were out with the Borders and would be spending money not just at Traquair but also in accommodation, restaurants and shops locally.
Finally in Selkirk the Meridia Mountain Bike event was taking place confess this was not an event I participated in but judging again by the carpark and campsite which I passed on our way to Traquair it was also very busy with many of the Hotels in Selkirk with cars with bikes attached. The Meridia Event is now firmly established in the cycling world and reinforces the Borders as a leading place for Mountain Biking and indeed cycling.
So three events quite different and in specific geographical areas of the Scottish Borders. Did they encourage additional visits to the area? I would argue yes they did and these visitors will return and tell their friends and family. Some of the visitors yes will be old friends of the Scottish Borders but some will be new to the area. Did they spend more as a result? Again yes they will have and many local businesses will benefit from these events. Plus like the Drane family it encourages locals like us to venture out and spend in local attractions and find out more about our area.
In my opinion Events are crucial to a successful tourism destination and yes they are expensive and time consuming to run but they do give visitors a reason to visit and return to an area. So lets commend the organisers of Events throughout the UK and a special thanks to the organisers of the Border Union Show, Traquair Fair and the Meridia Event. I love working and living in the Scottish Borders have spent the last 12 years playing my part in encouraging visitors to the area and have to admit a sense of pride as I visited or passed by these events this weekend.