Falkirk's Heartland tourism 'helps economic recovery'

Falkirk Wheel The scheme encourages tourists to visit attractions in the Falkirk area

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Tourism has a "key role" in helping Scotland return to economic growth, Holyrood's tourism minister has said.

During a visit to a Falkirk-based tourism scheme, Jim Mather said the project was among those that could bring economic benefits to Scotland.

The Heartland project encourages tourists to visit particular attractions through a voucher scheme.

The project is run by businesses in the Falkirk and Linlithgow area.

Backed by tourism body VisitScotland's growth fund, it gives those on a £250 short break for two £75 worth of vouchers that can be used on attractions in the local area, including trips on the Falkirk Wheel, hotel spas or rounds of golf.

Mr Mather said: "By working together and developing innovative ideas like this, tourism businesses can flourish and bring real economic benefits to their local area and the whole of Scotland."

He added: "Tourism has a key role to play in ensuring Scotland continues its recent return to economic growth. By working together and developing innovative ideas like this, tourism businesses can flourish and bring real economic benefits to their local area and the whole of Scotland."

On Wednesday, the minister highlighted how Brits holidaying in the UK have helped Scotland's tourism industry during the "tough" economic climate.

Almost 12.5 million visitors from within the UK took a trip in Scotland last year, generating about two thirds of the £4bn tourism contributed to the country's economy.

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