The official name of the exciting new route linking Stranraer in the west with Eyemouth on the east coast – Kirkpatrick C2C, south Scotland coast to coast – was revealed at a major tourism conference organized by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) last week.
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Kirkpatrick C2C is expected to prove a huge draw to the south of Scotland when it is officially launched in early summer – early forecasts predicted the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with direct spend of £13.7m per annum.
David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive of SSDA, said: “Cycle tourism is a key growth area for the whole of Scotland’s visitor economy and we are delighted that the upcoming new Kirkpatrick C2C, south of the coast of Scotland is in the spotlight as one of the longest and most exciting routes of its kind in the UK.
“It is a fantastically exciting time for the tourism and hospitality sectors in our region.
“As well as the expected increase in visitor numbers and spend that Kirkpatrick C2C will generate, we are now also preparing for the first-ever VisitScotland Thistle Awards for Southern Scotland.
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“These awards will attract the welcome attention and recognition of countless local tour operators who excel in their field, helping to put southern Scotland more firmly on the map.
VisitScotland’s Director of Industry and Destination Development Rob Dixon said: “It’s an exciting time for tourism in the south of Scotland.
“With the countdown to the opening of the Kirkpatrick Coast in southern Scotland to the Coast Cycling Road and the UCI Cycling World Championships, we continue to build on the important partnerships we have forged in southern Scotland to drive forward tourism recovery and continue to strengthen the southern economy.”
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Paula Ward, Economic Infrastructure Development Specialist and Delivery Manager for the South of Scotland Cycling Partnership’s Strategy and UCI Improvement Scheme, said: “Kirkpatrick Macmillan is an iconic figure for cycling and we in the South are very proud of him and it is fitting that his achievements are being recognized and our heritage celebrated through this. New and exciting tourism offer.
“Kirkpatrick C2C, south of Scotland coast to coast, is one of a number of new cycling opportunities taking place in our region at the moment, alongside the arrival of the 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships in the South this summer.
These are opportunities we must seize if we are to achieve our goal of the south becoming the leading destination for cycling in Scotland and recognized as the global home of cycling.”
For those seeking to challenge themselves, Kirkpatrick coast to coast can be tackled over four days, however riders are encouraged to immerse themselves in the beauty, heritage and charm of southern Scotland, spending eight days completing the route from Stranraer to Immouth.
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