The Gathering stories
This week, The Scotsman newspaper ran a series of features about a few of our visitors coming back to Scotland for The Gathering 2009.
Journalist Jim Gilchrist spoke to six people from five different countries – Argentina, Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA, and he discovered some varied, interesting and moving personal stories. Not only that, his features also covered fascinating periods of history, including the Reverend Norman Macleod who led his Highland Parishioners on an epic voyage and John Ross, one of the Cherokee people’s most famous chiefs.
The series was entitled “stories of homecoming” and are available online at http://www.scotsman.com
Our thanks to Eduardo, Lu Ann, Sandra, Bruce and Judy, Bob and Michael for sharing their stories. We hope you all enjoy reading the articles. If you have an interesting tale you would like to share about your Scottish connections, we’d love to hear from you: just email some details about you, where you live and where your family originated from to email@example.com
More bang for your buck
With the dollar growing in strength against the pound, US visitors will have more bang for their buck in Scotland. Compared to the 2007 exchange rate of $2 to £1, Scotland is now 25% cheaper for US tourists with an exchange rate of $1.50 to £1. This means, for example, that a return train ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow that cost $20 in early 2008 now costs $15.
...and the Euro too!
The strength of the Euro against the Pound means that visitors from the Euro zone will definitely get greater value for money when visiting Scotland.
Compared to the 2007 exchange rate of 1.4€ to £1, Scotland is now around 23% cheaper for European tourists with an exchange rate of 1.07€ to £1. This means, for example, that a return train ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow that cost 14€ in early 2008 now costs 10.70€.
Contributing to these extra savings is the recent reduction in VAT (like sales tax) from 17.5% to 15% so if you’re planning a trip now is the time to come to Scotland.
Don’t miss Arnold Clark’s early bird offer!
Earlier in the year, The Gathering 2009 teamed up with one of Scotland’s largest vehicle rental companies to help you make the most of your time in Scotland.
Arnold Clark have over 40 years experience in the supply of tailor-made vehicle rental packages for visitors to Scotland, offering highly competitive rental rates on a modern, multi-franchise vehicle fleet which includes compact, mid-size, family and executive cars, 7, 8 & 9 seat people carriers, estate vehicles and automatics available from over 30 Scottish locations.
As the official car hire firm of The Gathering 2009, Arnold Clark are offering an exclusive 15% discount car rental if you book before 31 December 2008. Any bookings made after this date will receive a 10% discount.
All you need to do is use the promotional code 'GATH' online at arnoldclarkrental.com or when booking by telephone through their Central Reservations Team on +44 (0)845 60 745 00. Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions on The Gathering 2009 website before making a booking.
With just over 200 days left to go, and over 60 percent of all passports sold, we would greatly appreciate your help in urging those that are still considering whether to come or not to commit before it is too late. We anticipate a surge in demand for the remaining Passports in the New Year.
Can we also take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support towards making this the greatest International Gathering of The Clans and Families ever to be held. So whether you are throwing a prawn on the barbie or digging yourself out of a snow drift, we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.
... and finally
Happy New Year!
The Gathering 2009 office closes for Christmas on Wednesday 24th December 2008 and re-open's on Monday 5th January 2009.