Dear Local Tourism Business

A Tweed Valley Tourism Business Improvement District (BID) project is underway to capitalise on the potential strengths and benefits of local businesses working together to improve and promote the Tweed Valley as one of Scotland’s leading tourism destinations.

Initially playing to the area’s core strengths, the Tourism BID aims to position the Tweed Valley as a world-class cycling and outdoor activity destination. Layered around that, it will also push the area’s broad, year-round appeal thanks to a rich cultural/natural heritage, outstanding food and drink, and vibrant arts scene.

This is an exciting opportunity for the area. By working together as one destination we will be able to:

Invest in infrastructure and facilities for visitors
Improve the tourism offering
Facilitate local initiatives
Increase visitor numbers, length of stay and overall spend
Deliver a truly outstanding visitor experience

A private sector-led steering group, representing a cross-section of the area’s tourism industry, has been established to progress this opportunity, with several clearly-defined steps:

Step one: To help develop the proposed Tourism BID, there will be extensive consultation throughout the summer with all the tourism businesses that may wish to be included within it.

Step two: Feedback from tourism businesses will then help shape the creation of a comprehensive, five-year business plan for the Tourism BID. This will be prepared between September and November 2018.

Step three: The final BID proposal and business plan will be put to tourism businesses to vote for or against in a ballot scheduled for autumn 2019. If approved, the scheme will enable Scottish Borders Council to collect a compulsory levy from all the businesses involved, with the funds invested in delivering the agreed plan. Funds will be collected annually for the initial five-year period of the Tourism BID.

To get the ball rolling, we need your help! This survey is an opportunity to tell us how you would like the area to develop as a tourism destination in the years to come. In doing so, you will enable us to better understand the issues affecting tourism businesses locally and, ultimately, help shape the creation of a comprehensive business plan for the Tourism BID.

The survey shouldn't take more than 10 mins of your time to complete. We’d be very grateful if you could complete it by 8th August.

Many thanks – we look forward to receiving your completed survey!

Access and Infrastructure
How important do you feel the following possible initiatives would be in improving access to the area and the wider tourism infrastructure in the Tweed Valley?

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* 1. Improving the network and signage of walking and road biking routes in the Tourism BID area.

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* 2. Developing a route for motorcyclists, road cycle tourers and campervans similar to the North Coast 500 (e.g The South Side 250).

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* 3. Working with Forestry Commission and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland to explore access, trail development, signage, and marketing of trails in the Tourism BID area

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* 4. Working with local trail building and trail advocacy groups to support trail maintenance and development for all users (walking/biking/horse riding/trail running)in the Tourism BID area.

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* 5. Developing long distance on/off road cycling routes in the Tourism BID area.

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* 6.  Working with Sustrans to help further develop the Tweed Valley cycle path for cyclists/walkers/horse riders

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* 7. Supporting the development of additional visitor attractions (e.g. climbing walls, tapping into the area's rich history e.g. signposted walks).

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* 8. Working with Borders Railway to build the business case for more cycle space on trains

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* 9. Please suggest any other initiatives you think would improve access to the area and the wider tourism infrastructure