People At The Heart Of New Scottish Tourist Drive

10 February 2016, 08:00

Tourism bosses plan to boost visitor numbers to the country by promoting the spirit of Scottish people.

Historic attractions such as Edinburgh Castle have previously been used to attract tourists but the wit, warmth and determination of Scots will be the focus of a new campaign.

VisitScotland hope to raise the "spirit and profile of Scotland to the highest it has ever been in history'' and achieve a #1 billion growth in tourism by 2020.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is supporting the campaign along with stunt biker Danny MacAskill, Social Bite entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn and Olympic athlete Laura Muir - people said to "embody the spirit of Scotland".

A series of cinematic adverts, short online documentaries and a new interactive website will feature in the campaign.

Social media is also being targeted with the #ScotSpirit hashtag to encourage people across the world to talk about their favourite aspects of Scotland and its people.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The spirit of Scotland is an indefinable quality that permeates all of the wonderful things that happen in our country and it encompasses many things - warmth, humour, guts, spark, soul determination and fun.

"That spirit has a global reputation. Each year, many thousands of visitors travel to our country to sample what it offers. They come from all over the globe to see our incredible attractions, share our experiences and sample our internationally renowned food and drink.

"But nowhere is the spirit of Scotland more evident than in its people - visitors to our country can be guaranteed that the people they meet and the welcome they receive will leave a lasting impression.

"So who could be better to be involved in a new campaign to bring even more visitors to Scotland than those who live here or visitors who love our country?''

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: "Tourism in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength against a difficult economic backdrop and uncertainty in travel.

"In the last 12 months there has been a 7% increase in visitors and an 8% increase in spend, but we cannot and must not be complacent.

"After nearly a year in the making, we are delighted to launch the Spirit of Scotland campaign. The new advertising visuals are breath-taking and I'm sure they will inspire many to make the journey to Scotland, but this is about so much more than stunning imagery. It's about harnessing a nation behind tourism.

"We want everyone who cares for Scotland to get behind this campaign by using #ScotSpirit and in doing so become ambassadors for the country and create this very special movement.

"Scotland is a unique place inhabited by a unique people - a combination that creates an inimitable spirit. The emotional pull of this spirit can't be duplicated by other destinations. You have to come to Scotland to experience it. But once you've felt it, our spirit will stay with you forever.''