The announcement that an Events Officer will be appointed for Dunfermline is welcome and long overdue. More than once in this column, I’ve spoken about the wasted potential of our city centre and the need to drum up more footfall, including tourism.
I have long lamented that Dunfermline has an array of excellent organisations working to promote the city but these groups frequently work in isolation. The new Events Officer will bring them together to produce an events calendar aimed at enticing visitors into Dunfermline. It is vital that we get more people into our city centre, because we need local businesses to thrive if we are to restore our economy. Not only that, but we have a beautiful and historic city that ought to receive due recognition.
Another exciting initiative is the work of the Forth Bridges Tourist Group, which promotes Dunfermline as an alternative to Edinburgh. Their excellent volunteers greet thousands of visitors disembarking from cruise ships in Rosyth and South Queensferry, providing them with maps, guides and recommendations about places to visit. The group also has information desks aboard most ships and provides a courtesy bus to Dunfermline.
Next year – the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn — will provide an important opportunity to generate more tourism. Over twice as many visitors are expected to flock to the tomb of the battle’s great hero, Robert the Bruce, in Dunfermline Abbey, amounting to some 40,000 people.
We must not lose this chance to promote Dunfermline. We must also ensure our city is a place people will want to re-visit and will recommend to family and friends.
The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.