Events provide a reason to visit. They play an important role in a visitor’s experience of a destination, with cultural or community events allowing the visitor to connect in an authentic way. The South of Scotland has a good calendar of events during peak season but is light on events at other times of the year. There is a need to improve how we connect events with the visitor economy such that those who come into the region for an event are encouraged to stay longer in the destination.

We will do this by:

  • Developing the festivals, music and events content on ‘Scotland Starts Here’ and using events to engage with our visitors
  • Linking the two Local Authority Events Strategies and the new National Events Strategy directly with the relevant actions in this strategy
  • Building on learnings from the recent hosting of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in the region, with a view to hosting similar events of scale
  • Supporting those attending events to stay longer and spend more in the region
  • Encouraging the creation of further out of season events, as part of our ambitions to develop a year-round destination
  • Connecting existing, or encouraging new, events to create themed festivals, linked to the established strengths of the region.

South of Scotland Responsible Tourism Strategy 2024 - 2034

Events in the South of Scotland

Events are key to delivering the Responsible Tourism Strategy for the South of Scotland. They attract visitors year-round, positioning the region as a vibrant, go-to destination.

The crucial time to influence visitor plans is not when they are in region attending the event but as early as possible in the trip planning: most ideally, as soon as they have booked their place at the event and in the stages of planning their trip to the South of Scotland.

Through close collaboration between strategic partners and event organisers, we can encourage event attendees to stay longer, increasing spend and support local businesses.

The SSDA will work with event organisers to build reciprocal partnerships, through which events promote ‘Scotland Starts Here’ and, in return, ‘Scotland Starts Here’ promotes events.

Events support for ‘Scotland Starts Here’

We invite all events which bring visitors into the South of Scotland to use ‘Scotland Starts Here’ to encourage their attendees to stay longer and spend more, for the benefit of other local businesses and communities.

Specifically, we invite event organisers to:

  • Include links to the Scotland Starts Here website and app in ticket confirmation emails, explicitly encouraging attendees to explore the wider area.
  • Include prominent links to Scotland Starts Here visitor information on the event website
  • Share what else to do in the area in event newsletters, on your social channels or website
  • Use the #scotlandstartshere hashtag on social media

Scotland Starts Here’ support for Events

Those events which actively promote ‘Scotland Starts Here’ can access a range of support and promotion, including:

  • Being able to apply for local authority funding, where available
  • Free listing on the ‘Scotland Starts Here’ website, featuring an events calendar with filters for type and location
  • Feature on a dedicated webpage highlighting flagship annual events in the region
  • Blogs and features in monthly ‘What’s On’ roundups
  • Promotion on ‘Scotland Starts Here’ social media channels
  • Inclusion in ‘Scotland Starts Here’ newsletters
  • Promotional press support such as amplifying press releases, inclusion in press pitches, fam trips, and support on VIP outreach

Scotland Starts Here Collateral and Promotional Materials

Download our free logos, templated graphics, information and more for your event communications.


Listing Your event on Scotland Starts Here


Listing your event on ‘Scotland Starts Here’ is quick and easy:

Simply head to the website, check your event matches the listing criteria, fill in the event form and upload an image to promote your event. The SSDA team will then check the information and set your event live.