Welcome Hosts reveal visitor numbers are down

THE number of tourists stopping in Hawick has dropped compared to last year, according to the town’s Welcome Hosts.

In the opening weeks of the new summer season it has been reported that visitor numbers are down by 11 per cent.

Despite the disappointing figures, Welcome Initiative chairman Jack Yallop says the town is still on the tourist trail. He said: “We have been welcoming visitors for three weeks and the season started slowly showing a drop in visitors by around 11 per cent, and buses are also down, but it’s picking up now and our fourth week has been a lot busier.”

Buses stopping in the town have included a group of 44 Germans, and a Swedish coach with 56 people on board, who Mr Yallop (pictured) says all enjoyed their visit.

The unique Hosts also welcomed a bus from Carlisle carrying around 50 elderly people, and were able to ensure they got the best from their visit.

Mr Yallop explained: “We told the driver it would benefit his passengers if he dropped them off at the Horse which he did, and he before he left he thanked Hawick for making them most welcome. And access from the Horse had enabled the elderly tourists to explore the shops in the centre of the town easier. He also said he would be back.”

Other points of interest apart from shopping which have been noted to be attracting visitors to the town include knitwear, walking, fishing and eating out. William Lockie’s new shop is also proving popular, where an intarsia machine is being operated.

And he said research into a proposal to allow camper vans in the Common Haugh is gaining momentum.