The Forth Bridge has been compared to the Egyptian pyramids and the Alhambra fortress in Spain as a new tourism strategy for the area was launched.
The 10-year plan sets out steps to boost visitors to the three bridges spanning the Firth of Forth – the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing – and the surrounding towns and villages.
Proposals include attracting high-profile international sporting events which would use the bridges as a backdrop, such as cycling, athletics, triathlons and yachting.
Further planned actions are consideration of developing a welcome hub and viewpoint, supporting Network Rail’s Forth Bridge Experience which could include a viewing platform 100m above the Firth, registering the Forth Bridges brand in the UK, Europe and the US, and developing brand merchandise.
The strategy also proposes trialling a closure of the Forth Road Bridge for a family cycling event and improving signs in North and South Queensferry.
As part of the decade-long strategy, a five-year delivery plan has been created.
Speaking in North Queensferry, Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Forth Bridges are much more than a means of travel.
The Forth Bridge has taken its place alongside the Pyramids of Giza and Spain’s Alhambra as one of the world’s most iconic monuments and has been inscribed on to Unesco’s world heritage list.
“Its two magnificent neighbours are themselves great engineering achievements. The bridges span both time and distance as the three bridges were built in three different centuries.
“Today’s launch of the Tourism Strategy sets out the Forth Bridges Forum’s plan to tell the story of the three bridges for the first time, creating a unique experience which will allow visitors to learn about their history as well as marvel at their majesty.
“By communities, businesses and the public sector working together, we can use the bridges as catalysts for developing the many tourism offerings of the surrounding towns and villages.
“It’s an exciting development which will secure the area’s reputation as a top destination for visitors.”
Published heraldscotland.com, 24 April 2019