MORE than 100 businesses gathered in Peebles last week for the Scottish Borders Spring Tourism Conference.

Held at the Hydro hotel, groups were able to hear from a range of speakers – including Professor John Lennon from the Moffatt Centre, Stephen Leckie from Crieff Hydro and Matthew Jackson from National Geographic Traveller.

And a number of tourism masterclasses on brand building, story-telling and delivering great customer service took place.

Will Haegeland, chairman on the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership told us: “Today’s event has demonstrated that there is a genuine passion for developing our visitor economy and putting the Scottish Borders firmly on the tourism map.

“We closed the conference with an industry plea for a continued need for enthusiasm, energy and passion for the Borders.

“We are also looking for people who would be interested in joining the Destination Management Marketing Organisation board.

“If that’s you, then we will be putting in place an application process but in the first instance we look forward to hearing from businesses.”

The event also saw the launch of the ‘Scotland Starts Here’ promotional tourism app.

The software has been developed by the MBTAG (Midlothian and Borders Tourism Action Group), headed up by project manager Gemma Reid.