The Thistles shopping centre is celebrating after receiving a 4-star Quality Assurance rating from Scotland’s national tourism organisation.

The centre was upgraded after successfully implementing all of the recommendations given by VisitScotland.

As a benchmark for quality, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

As well as achieving the rating, the centre has also become the newest addition to VisitScotland’s Information Partner (VIP) Programme.

The innovative scheme is designed to allow those working within the tourism industry to become local ambassadors for their town or region by providing first-class information to visitors.

Staff within the centre already provide information and inspiration to visitors by actively promoting their local area and the services offered by local businesses.

The Thistles Shopping Centre is one of around 1450 businesses across the country who have joined the partnership scheme. The popular complex give customers an unrivalled selection of over 90 shops and makes shopping an ultimate experience.

A spokesperson for The Thistles said: “This Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland is a real badge of honour for The Thistles Shopping Centre. It’s a clear sign to our shoppers that when they visit us they can expect a certain standard of service and quality. As staff regularly assist visitors with their enquiries, it felt like a natural step for us to join the VIP programme and highlight the amazing range of things to see and do in the Stirling area.”

Liz Buchanan MBE, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“My congratulations go to everyone at The Thistles on the outstanding achievement of the 4-star grading. It is well deserved recognition of the quality of their visitor offer, which the team is developing still further through our VIP programme by offering friendly local knowledge of other things to see and do in the area.

“These are exciting times for tourism in Stirling, with the recent opening of the Engine Shed and major investment coming into the city through the City Deal. These achievements by The Thistles show that the team is already focused on welcoming more visitors and encouraging them to get more out of their visit to Stirling.”

The programme forms part of VisitScotland’s focus on information which also includes a global online community to allow Scots and those who love Scotland to bring alive the streets, characters and landscapes of our country.

The scheme is open to all Quality Assured businesses, as well as community groups, local authority-operated library services and social enterprises. VisitScotland provides the partner sites with official signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive an excellent standard of information about the area and the rest of Scotland.

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