A PETITION has been launched to force a U-turn on a decision to close Jedburgh’s VisitScotland Tourist Information Centre.

The venue at Murray’s Green faces the axe after the tourism organisation announced the closures of all such venues across the country.

It follows what VisitScotland calls “significant changes to the way people plan their holidays” with most using online resources and travel specialists to research and book all aspects of their trips.

To adapt to this shift in behaviour, VisitScotland will invest its resources and expertise in a digital-first strategy.

All VisitScotland information centres – known as iCentres – will operate as usual until the end of September as part of a phased two-year closure programme.

Now Borders MP John Lamont is urging the Scottish Government to prevent the closure of the Jedburgh complex, calling it “bad news for the Borders”.

He said: “The local community have been working hard to boost tourism but this will damage their efforts.

“This decision is deeply unhelpful to efforts by the local community to increase tourism and give visitors a better experience of the Borders.”

You can sign the petition at www.johnlamont.org/campaigns/save-jed-visitor-centre

Lord Thurso, the chair of VisitScotland, said: “The tourism landscape has changed significantly in recent years.

"The demand for iCentres has reduced while the demand for online information and booking has continued to grow. In order to continue building demand and growing the value of tourism and events, it is vitally important that we target channels we know visitors use to influence them to visit Scotland.

“Our research shows that as an organisation, we have a greater and more impactful role to play in providing information before visitors travel. Prioritising a digital-first model of information provision allows us to reach potential visitors at those early planning stages when we can shape their future travel decisions.”