Scotland Starts Here

The Scotland Starts Here campaign showcases to visitors that it is in the South that Scotland’s identity and soul were born - not only from a location perspective, but also as the pivotal areas that have shaped the nation’s history and culture for centuries. It comprises of a travel inspiration website (, a mobile app and a suite of digital marketing assets including podcasts, eBooks, videos, blogs and social media advertising.

Aimed at visitors from the UK, Europe and International markets, the campaign focuses on four key themes of Hidden Wonders, Active & Outdoors, Food & Drink and History & Heritage. By putting a spotlight on authentic local experiences and award-winning products and businesses, it will increase potential visitors’ awareness of what the area has to offer for short breaks and holidays.

It signalled the first phase of a new tourism drive across the areas and the wider South of Scotland. Now under the umbrella of SSDA it will be extended to cover the D&G area. Over the past three years, MBTAG has engaged over 800 businesses in the Scottish Borders and Midlothian areas in workshops, training and product development to make them more tourism ready. Funding for this programme will end in October 2020 and so all assets will be transferred to SSDA for the new organisation to build on and market the whole of the South.

To be further inspired please watch our videos:

See South Scotland - Culture

See South Scotland - Food and Drink

See South Scotland - Adventure

See South Scotland – Starring The Thompsons

Tour Guide Tales – The Angels of Annandale Distillery

Tour Guide Tales – Unravel Hawick’s Cashmere Industry

Dumfries & Galloway Little Things, Big Memories videos: Hero Video, Food & Drink, History & Heritage, Nature & Outdoors and Family Experiences

Step into the Scottish Borders video


The funding we have received from SOSE is the first major investment from the newly formed enterprise agency. A key element of all future funding is commercialisation of SSDA Ltd with income anticipated from:

  1. Booking income – develop a booking revenue stream either through a proprietary booking engine or commercial relationships with Online Travel Agencies
  2. Membership income and Scotland Starts Here brand licensing – given Covid19, we will offer a year of free access to Scotland Starts Here marketing assets, but will drive membership revenue thereafter
  3. Sponsorship – the increasingly joined-up nature of the South and its tourism network will offer opportunities for commercial sponsorship along the lines of North Coast 500
  4. Service provision – develop the expertise and industry engagement to commercially deliver key tourism initiatives for partners like local authorities, SoSE, Visit Scotland and Scottish Government