Scotland Starts Here

Scotland Starts Here is our consumer facing brand, with half a million website visitors, over 25,500 app users, over 70,000 social media followers  and a total reach of over 2.4 million.

By joining SSDA you will be listed on Scotland Starts Here and be part of an inclusive, supportive network which is powering the South of Scotland’s visitor economy.


What can we do for you ?

By Becoming a Member..

Membership of SSDA will bring a host of tangible benefits to individual businesses, local marketing groups, suppliers, events, and social enterprises. As a member you will benefit from:


Putting the South of Scotland on the map through ‘Scotland Starts Here’ and driving a sustainable increase in visitors to the area. This will be done through; SSH Website, SSH APP and SSH Social Media channels which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
Dedicated marketing campaigns and collaborative marketing campaigns with partners.


SSDA has direct representation to government and  campaigns for sector recognition and investment as well as global representation at travel trade conferences and events.


Engage with your customers more effectively, maximising customer communication opportunities, meet evolving consumer expectation and reach audiences effectively including having excellent online visibility and bookability.


Fulfil business potential through innovation, collaboration, creativity, and diversification.

Our Bespoke Members

Join the SSDA Today

Membership of the SSDA is open to all tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses
and organisations across the South of Scotland.



Since our inception the impact we have had on our Members in the South of Scotland has been huge


People engaged with SSDA
on training and events

Growth in social
following on SSH

Our Latest News

The latest news from across the South of Scotland.

Crawick Multiverse designated by Historic Environment Scotland

  Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has added Crawick Multiverse to the inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. The site was nominated to be considered for designation by a member of[…]

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South of Scotland aims to become Scotland’s “Fastest Growing Visitor Economy by 2034” as Partners unveil New Responsible Tourism Strategy

Launching the South of Scotland Responsible Tourism Strategy, left to right:  Steve Rogers, Head of Economy and Development, Dumfries and Galloway Council; Scottish Borders Council Leader Euan Jardine; Councillor Scott[…]

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How the South of Scotland can learn on the hoof from Iceland

The SSDA’s CEO, David Hope-Jones OBE has written and opinion piece which has been published in The Herald as SSDA Annual Conference is held in Dumfries. Picture this: you’re finishing[…]

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External view of the Peebles Hydro, a hotel, set with blue sky and green rolling hills. The hotel will be the venue for the South of Scotland THistle Awards 2024.

Peebles Hydro named as venue for the 2024 South of Scotland Thistle Awards as entries open to local businesses

TOURISM and hospitality businesses in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders are being encouraged to enter the South of Scotland Thistle Awards 2024, back after a brilliantly successful inaugural[…]

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SSDA Annual Members Survey

The SSDA is a member-led network. Everything we do is informed by listening to our members and understanding the needs, concerns and priorities of the businesses, enterprises and communities of[…]

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The Thistle Awards are back for 2024, honouring the South of Scotland’s magnificent tourism and hospitality sector

After a hugely successful first year, the South of Scotland’s regional Thistle Awards are back for 2024, showcasing the finest in Scottish tourism and hospitality across the region, with nominations[…]

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