An Investigation into the Importance of Events at Historic Houses in the Scottish Borders
(2014) An Investigation into the Importance of Events at Historic Houses in the Scottish Borders, no. 66.
The aim of this research project is to establish the importance of events in the survival and sustainability of Historic Houses within the region of the Scottish Borders. The events industry in Scotland is said to be becoming more and more important to the nation. With the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, 2014 is set to be a significant year for the country. That being said, this research project focuses on exploring how Historic Houses use events to showcase the House, raise profits and attract people to the heritage visitor attraction, all with the aim of aiding the sustainability of the House. The following objectives were created in line with the research topic: 1. To explore the heritage tourism industry, focusing on visitor attractions in the Scottish Borders, in order to establish the business environment of Historic Houses. 2. To create an understanding of the attitudes of key professionals towards holding and organising events in Historic Houses as a strategic objective to aid sustainability. 3. To explore the potential of events as an opportunity to showcase Historic Houses as a significant part of the local area by researching Historic Houses within the Scottish Borders. A literature review was carried out to establish and summarise the existing literature surrounding the subject of events at Historic Houses in the Scottish Borders. Key subjects of this literature review primarily focused on the business environment of Historic Houses, found to be the heritage tourism industry, heritage visitor attractions and special interest tourism. Then the subjects of the Scottish events industry and events at Historic Houses were evaluated. This allows for gaps in the existing literature to be discovered and noted, thereby creating the background for this study. To fulfil the aims and objectives of this research project, a qualitative research method was utilised. The research method of semi-structured interviews with seven key industry professionals was selected, using the purposive sampling technique. The professionals are employed by various Historic Houses in the Borders and fulfil a key role in organising events or marketing. The main findings of the research are detailed below: - Preservation of heritage, culture, collections and belongings of Historic Houses are all extremely important aspects of the operating and survival of the Houses, often put before the commercial use. - Events are not found to be at the forefront of the strategic objectives of the majority of Historic Houses completing this study. Some are small scale or market led, with the reported benefit of attracting the local community and media to the visitor attraction. - Sustainability of Historic Houses is currently aided by house tours, day visits, group visits and catering and retail functions. - Historic Houses draw tourists to the Scottish Borders by operating as a mayor tourist attraction within the area, in particular to the special interest tourist. Houses are currently operating to maintain this attraction and support the local area.