Paisley Museum

Paisley excellent for tourists says Visit Scotland.

The Paisley Museum and the Coats Observatory have been named as four star visitor attractions which offer tourists an excellent standard of welcome, hospitality and service.

The award follows a series of secret inspections by mystery shoppers from Visit Scotland, the national tourism organisation.

Paisley Museum

The grading system focuses on the standard of the welcome, hospitality and service attractions provide. The Renfrewshire Council attractions were awarded three stars in 2011.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said, “Paisley Museum is home to an iconic and nationally significant collection of artefacts including the Arbuthnott Missal. Side by side with this mediaeval treasure are contemporary exhibitions including the incredibly popular Lego Brick City.

“Visit Scotland has recognised the sheer quality of the museum and the observatory and the dedication of the employees who make both attractions so welcoming for visitors.

“After the inspection in 2011 the council decided to aim for four stars. An improvement plan was put in place and it is excellent news that our efforts have paid off.

“As part of the improvement plan we installed a new automated planetarium in the Coats Observatory. We also invested £110,000 in a nine month restoration of the Pillar Gallery. During the modernisation, a suspended roof installed in the 1960’s was taken down unveiling the Victorian splendour of the original twin barrel vaulted ceiling.

Paisley Museum

“The next step is clearly achieving five stars and that’s our target for 2015.”

The number of stars awarded to an attraction tells visitors what they can expect:
*       1 star – clean and tidy, a fair and acceptable, if basic, standard
*       2 stars – a good overall standard
*       3 stars – a very good standard
*       4 stars – an excellent standard
*       5 stars – an exceptional standard.
The Paisley Museum opened in 1871. The building was designed by the well-known Glasgow architect John Honeyman and paid for by Sir Peter Coats of the famous Coats thread manufacturing family.

The museum is home to Paisley Shawl Collection which is a Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland.
Coats Observatory opened in 1883 and is the oldest public observatory in Scotland. It was gifted to the people of Paisley by Thomas Coats and was also designed by John Honeyman.

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Glasgow Airport gets pupils’ tourism careers off to a flier

Scotland’s next generation is learning about career opportunities in one of the country’s largest and most important industry sectors thanks to Glasgow Airport.

The £40,000 cost of a project designed to introduce young people to the opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism sectors is being met by the airport’s Challenge Fund.

The aim of the Skills for Sustainable Tourism project, which has been created by the charity Scottish Business in the Community, is to encourage these young people to move into education, training or employment when they leave school.

Glasgow Airport is also playing an active role in the project and has already hosted a group of 15 pupils from Renfrew High School, with two more visits to follow in 2013. The youngsters took part in an interactive session covering the wide range of jobs and career progression opportunities available at the airport.

With Glasgow Airport employing only a tenth of the 4,500 workforce on-site, business partners British Airways and World Duty Free also took part to give the pupils an airline and retail perspective.

As the goal is to enable the youngsters to learn about every aspect of the tourism and hospitality industries, and increase their awareness and opportunities, the airport visit is just one of several facilitated by SBC including Glasgow 2014, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental Hotels and Rabbie’s Tours.

Campbell Mackinnon, Glasgow Airport’s operations director, took part in the recent session with the children. He added: “This programme encompasses everything that the Challenge Fund is about. It recognises the importance of tourism and hospitality in Scotland, particularly with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming all taking place in 2014.

“It also provides opportunities for learning and raises the aspirations of these young people, who clearly enjoyed their visit to the airport. We look forward to welcoming the next groups here in 2013, and hopefully to some of them taking up employment here in the future!”

Bob Christie, SBC’s regional manager for Glasgow, said: “It is fantastic that a high-profile business such as Glasgow Airport, which directly and indirectly supports thousands jobs in tourism and hospitality, is funding this project in its entirety.

“The risk of young people leaving school without employment, education or training is particularly acute during an economic downturn, but there are opportunities available in tourism and hospitality which we believe can provide a route to both work and skills development.

“By funding and participating in this programme, which is focused on achieving positive outcomes for those taking part, Glasgow Airport is investing in the future of the young people in its community and the future of tourism in Scotland.”