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West Lothian NEWS - news as it happens in West Lothian

                        More Visitors to Scotland in early 2006

The International Passenger Survey indicates a total of 2,249,000 overseas visitors came to Scotland during the first 9 months of 2006 compared to 1,981,000 for the same period in 2005.  

The numbers coming from North America rose by 16% while visitors from Europe rose by 13%, compared to the previous year.

It is thought that a contributory factor is the growing number of low-cost direct air services between Scotland and overseas destinations.


    First ScotRail Advise to Regular Travellers and Tourists 

Don't lose out - Buy before you board!

From 14 January 2007 you will be unable to buy discounted tickets on train unless boarding at a station where no ticket purchasing facilities are available.

Buy before you board

Before travelling you must have a ticket that is valid for the train and route you intend to use and must also present this ticket, together with any accompanying photocard or Railcard, for inspection by our on-train staff when asked.

What happens if I board without a valid ticket?

From 14 January 2007, if you board a train without a ticket, you will be liable to pay the
full Single or full Standard Return fare for the journey being made, unless:

  • You board at an un-staffed station or at a station where ticket office facilities are unavailable.

  • There were no self-service ticket machines or where the self-service ticket machines provided were not in full working order.

From this date you will be unable to buy a Cheap Day Return, or any other discounted ticket, on a train unless the above exceptions apply.

Improved ticket issuing facilities

We are improving all our ticket issuing facilities at stations to ensure that everyone can buy their tickets quickly and easily. Self service vending machines are already in place at over 30 stations in and around the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas and more are planned for introduction by the end of March 2007.

However, if buying at a station please allow enough time to purchase tickets before boarding, particularly at peak times when our ticket offices may be busier than usual.

If you travel on a regular basis, our Season Ticket and Flexipass products offer great value for money and are available to purchase online. Click here for details.

Tourism Innovation Day 2007 

This is a great opportunity for West Lothian Tourism businesses to sign up for what is being billed a great Tourism Experience.

The Tourism Innovation Day is the most exciting event in Scottish tourism - an explosive mix of high profile speakers to inspire you; cutting edge research and intelligence to make you think how you should change your business; and leading practitioners - people at the forefront of tourism in Scotland, prepared to spill the beans about their success!

Tourism Innovation Day will be held on 21st February 2007 ay the Corn Exchange Edinburgh and places can be reserved by emailing . For more information check out the website at www.tourisminnovationday.com

Free Bus Travel should be good for local Tourism

Over one million Scots, who are aged 60 or over, are eligible for free bus travel in 2007.

 Around 80% of people in this category already have concession cards which are valid in their local area, but the new scheme will allow them to travel anywhere in Scotland at any time for free. 

This opportunity will allow our Scottish OAP's to travel to new locations many have never visited before or to return to places they have not been able to afford to visit for many years.  

The potential for more of these people to travel to West Lothian to enjoy our Historic and Leisure facilities is massive and should be encouraged by all West Lothian Tourism facilities 

For more information about this offer check out www.infoscotland.com/seemore

MacDonald Hotels may pull out of Aviemore

West Lothian based, Macdonald Hotels Group, is seemingly frustrated by
lengthy delays over planning permission for 170 new houses at Aviemore. 

After years of decline, the Aviemore ski resort and tourist resort took on
a new lease of life with a major investment by the Macdonald Hotels Group, and other major players to create the Aviemore Highland Resort. 

The first phase reopened in August 2005 and attracted 3/4million visitors in the first year. The run-down area had been regenerated with three new hotels, a leisure centre, conference centre and an upmarket shopping area as well as creating a new championship golf course in the village.  

The company's managing director said they will make no more investments in Scotland until the dispute is resolved. 

Free French course for tourist sector

Do you work in the tourist industry?  

Would you like to learn some French for free?  

If so, then Talk IT wants to hear from you.

They have developed a language course aimed at the tourist sector, and if you are a small business entrepreneur, such as a bed and breakfast owner, then you could be eligible for the course.

The language course is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme and will be conducted mainly by distance learning. The course will enable you to greet guests, give directions and give information on local amenities.

For more information and to register your interest please contact Andrew Shorey of Careers Europe by calling 01274 829 601, faxing 01274 829 610 or emailing

Linlithgow Tourism Calendar 2007

The new Linlithgow TOURISM Calendar 2007 is now on sale and Selling Fast!!

Over 1100 distributed and we will have 1000 on Walls all over the World To promote the Royal Burgh in 2007.

This new approach entices locals and tourists alike to become "actively involved in the Royal Burgh".

The calendars are ideal as presents for overseas relations and friends, for your own home or business to promote the Royal Burgh.

Please purchase one at your earliest opportunity as they are selling fast at Blast-Off Books, Linlithgow Book Shop, the News Shop, Star & Garter Hotel, Coffee Neuk, Platform 3 and Annet House Museum in Linlithgow.

To view the Calendar photos month by month please click:www.flavell.com/scotland/linlithgow.htm

The Trains bringing Tourists to West Lothian will cost more!

In line with nation wide increase in train fares it will cost more to travel from our train stations located in the county. 

First ScotRail is to impose an average rise of 4.3%, so some passengers will have noticed an increase of 15% in the last five months - at a time when inflation is running at around 2.5%.  

This increase will affect commuter travellers as well as tourists and day visitors scheduling to travel to the likes of Linlithgow, Livingston and Bathgate to shop or visit the tourism sites like Linlithgow Palace, the Designer Outlet and the Bennie Museum. 

Local Forum Is Passionate About West Lothian

The West Lothian Tourism Forum has teamed up with the Scottish Tourism Industry to develop an initiative which encourages businesses in the area to work together to improve customer service standards.

The Pride & Passion initiative involves businesses getting together to share stories, experiences and tips which will then be used to develop local services for all visitors to Scotland. 

As part of this new scheme the Scottish Tourism Industry has contacted all tourism groups to find out why they are so proud of their local area. Pamela McMahon, Chair of the West Lothian Tourism Forum, said: - As a group we came up with hundreds of reasons why we are proud of our area, including the beautiful countryside, the abundance of leisure and sporting facilities, natural attractions and heritage such as Hopetoun House (Scotland’s Finest Stately Home) and The House of Binns.

West Lothian can also boast a range of quality retail outlets, ranging from Scotland’s largest designer outlet, McArthur Glen, Livingston, to smaller shops in the historic town of Linlithgow.

We are working hard as a forum to better the tourism services in our area and it’s great when we can team up with large organisations such as the Scottish Tourism Industry to help us achieve this. We are excited about the new Pride & Passion initiative which will ensure that levels of service will become consistently high across the tourism industry.

Douglas Ritchie, a Friend of Pride & Passion added: - The information we get from business and tourism groups across Scotland is vital for us to develop our services and we received a great depth of feedback from West Lothian Tourism Forum. 

This information, which highlights why the forum is proud of their area, helps us build up a comprehensive picture of the tourism highlights within West Lothian and can now be shared with the rest of Scotland. 

 Edinburgh Airport Rail Link - Potential Tourism Boom 

It has been described by the director of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (Earl) Project as "Scotland's most ambitious engineering project for generations."  

The design plans for the rail link under the main runway of Edinburgh
airport were published this week by the managers of the construction
project. Two tunnels, each 1.5 kilometres long, will have their roofs 8
metres below the runway surface and part of the link will go under the
river Almond. 

This will allow more direct travel from the airport to West Lothian via Linlithgow Station and put the Royal Burgh just one stop away from attracting more tourists who arrive at the Airport, to the area. The estimated capital cost of the scheme is approximately £610 million, with the rail service targeted to commence operation in 2010/11.

Most of the cost is being met by the Scottish Executive (in other words, the taxpayers).


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