The COVID-19 pandemic may have put paid to international travel, but the tourism sector in Perth and Kinross is on the road to recovery.

Increasing numbers of people are opting to holiday in Scotland, and many are choosing Perth and Kinross as a destination.

That is certainly the feeling at the region’s two VisitScotland iCentres, which are currently enjoying what is traditionally their busiest season.

Located on Perth High Street and in Pitlochry, friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to promote the wide range of visitor experiences that the region has to offer, from outdoor adventures to wonderful scenery, historic attractions and food and drink experiences.

And there may be opportunities for local businesses and community groups to highlight their work through the facilities.

Carol Myles, visitor services advisor with VisitScotland, said: “Our iCentre staff are delighted to be back telling locals and visitors all about the fantastic things to see and do across Perthshire and the country as a whole.

“As well as visitors, we like to encourage local residents to pop in and say hello too. We have excellent links with the community and in recent years have hosted many local events.

“We’re always keen to hear from local businesses and community groups about how we can work together to promote new businesses, products and destinations to our visitors. We can never know enough about the local area.

“Our iCentres are an important part of the community and we are keen to work with other tourism businesses locally to ensure that returning visitors receive a warm welcome and get to see the best sites and attractions the region has to offer.

“Our staff can also advise and answer questions on current travel restrictions.”

The iCentres also stock a range of products through the Shop Local initiative that provides a platform for craft makers, artists and designers to promote and sell their products.

An important part of the iCentre’s role since reopening is helping visitors to enjoy the area responsibly, by linking visitors with local tourism businesses and sharing information on some of the hidden gems that can be enjoyed.

Here are some of recommendations from the staff at Perth and Pitlochry iCentres:

• Perth Medieval Trail - this new trail provides information about Perth in the year 1440. QR codes can be scanned at each location to allow you to see what Perth might have looked like back then.

• River Tay Public Art Trail - Follow the artistic, natural and historical journey of the city and its river with thought-provoking sculptures placed in amongst glorious gardens and brightly- coloured riverside flowerbeds.

• Fergusson Art Gallery – devoted to the work of the Scottish colourist John Fergusson and his wife Margaret Morris, a modern dancer. Based in the old Watertower, it is a great example of the city’s unique architectural heritage.

• The Café Quarter in St Johns Place – after a spot of sightseeing grab a bite in one of the city’s great independent cafes, coffee shops and restaurants. Sample the finest in local produce and enjoy mouthwatering dishes from a variety of different cuisines.There is something to suit all tastes.

• Scone Palace – a favourite among international visitors due to its historical links, Scone Palace was the crowning place of Scottish kings where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned. Its stunning gardens and peaceful woodland are perfect for a gentle stroll while children can burn some energy at the adventure playground.

• Crannog Centre – while the Iron Age crannog reconstruction was sadly destroyed in a devastating fire earlier this year, this beloved attraction still remains open. Visitors can enjoy the museum and Iron Age village, walking in the footsteps of the original crannog dwellers.

• Killiecrankie - one of the region’s newest attractions, enjoy exploring the new visitor centre, admire the view from the green footbridge, keeping your eyes peeled for red squirrels, woodpecker and pine martens and also see Soldier’s Leap, the spot where a Redcoat soldier leapt 18ft across the River Gary to flee the Jacobites.

• Queen’s View and Allean Forest – we are spoiled for choice when it comes to stunning walks in this region and there is no better way to take in the scenery than by foot. If you’ve never experienced it head to the famous Queen’s View and the surrounding Allean Forest, perfect for a stroll at any time of year.

• Birks of Aberfeldy – follow in the footsteps of our National Bard Robert Burns with a visit to this peaceful natural gorge on the outskirts of Aberfeldy. Burns was so inspired after his visit in 1787 he wrote the poem ‘The Birks of Aberfeldie’.

• Rannoch Station – take a journey to one of the most remote train stations on the British Isles. Surrounded by stunning Perthshire scenery begin, or end your trip, with a delicious refreshment at the Rannoch Station tearoom too.

For more information and inspiration, make sure to pay a visit to Perth or Pitlochry iCentre.

To find out more visit: www.visitscotland.com/about/practical-information/vic/