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New campaign to make tourism splash

Date published: 16 May 2019

A new digital campaign is aiming to generate £1m for Scotland’s economy by inspiring visitors to get on a boat in 2020 to enjoy some of Scotland’s amazing places, islands, and experiences.

Must Sea Scotland, supported by a £22,500 VisitScotland Growth Fund award, will use 360 degree virtual reality videos of must visit locations around Scotland’s coast to encourage visitors from the UK to take to the water next year and enjoy Scotland’s offering.

Using Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 (YCW2020) as a platform, the campaign is led by Sail Scotland who have partnered with National Trust for Scotland, Diageo and CalMac. This ensures Scotland’s islands, cultural heritage, and distilleries are all part of the key messaging for the campaign, giving it a broad appeal for the themed year.

Videos of bucket list locations in Scotland will be created to give visitors an immersive, on the water experience of some of the country’s top locations. The videos will be supported by blogs and itineraries that provide rich content, including how you can visit the bucket list location, and suggestions for similar experiences. This will introduce visitors to a whole range of other places and experiences beyond those captured in the videos.

Utilising online and social media channels, the campaign is aiming to reach over 600,000 potential visitors and, by raising awareness of the diversity of opportunities to experience Scotland by boat, generate additional Visitor Boat Nights in 2020. By targeting key markets with innovative digital content to grow the number and value of sailing and boating visitors to Scotland, it is in direct support of the National Marine Tourism Strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020 and YCW2020.

As part of the campaign Sail Scotland charter members, Ocean Sailing Scotland, have branded the hull of their first-generation Clipper 60 ocean racing yacht Taeping (pictured) carrying the campaign message around the coast and at events throughout the next year.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said: “Must Sea Scotland is an excellent addition to the expanding calendar of activity for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting digital innovation and this campaign’s use of 360 degree virtual reality aims to boost our economy by inspiring locals and visitors alike to explore Scotland’s outstanding coastline.”

Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland, said: “Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 is a huge opportunity to grow marine tourism, so we are delighted to launch our most ambitious and innovative marketing campaign ever, to encourage new and returning visitors to get on the water in 2020. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Sail Scotland. We are really excited with the support received from our partners and member businesses around Scotland who all working together give potential visitors the best chance to experience the enchanting, islands, waters and coasts of Scotland.”

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Must Sea Scotland is an exciting campaign that will showcase how visitors can take to the water to enjoy Scotland’s outstanding tourism offering. It is an excellent addition to the growing portfolio of activity taking place for YCW2020 and I’m thrilled we were able to support it with a VisitScotland Growth Fund award.

“At VisitScotland we want to champion collaboration, spearhead digital innovation, promote local areas and ensure that tourism is recognised for the ripple effect of success, well-being and prosperity it brings to all sections of society.”

In 2020, Scotland celebrates its Coasts and Waters with a year-long programme of events and activities which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape. From our beautiful natural features including coasts, lochs and rivers to our industrial heritage such as our canals, mills and the creation of our national drink – whisky, Scotland’s Coasts and Waters have shaped our culture, our stories and our way of life.

Sail Scotland is the national marketing organisation for sailing and boating tourism. It is an industry owned not-for-profit organisation, working to promote Scotland as a marine tourism destination of first choice.

The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth and ensure that visitors experience the best of Scotland. To be eligible for a Growth Fund award, applicants must place a strong emphasis on digital marketing and the creation of digital content assets.

Andrew Macnair, Marketing Manager at CalMac Ferries, said: “Given our extensive involvement in Scotland's Year of Coast and Waters next year we are delighted to be supporting Must Sea Scotland. We recognise that this initiative will create valuable content which will can be used to raise awareness of Scotland well beyond 2020.”

Diageo’s Callum Rew, Senior Site Manager at Oban Distillery, said: “We are delighted to be part of the #MustSeaScotland campaign and we look forward to working alongside partners CalMac, Sail Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland to benefit tourism in our coastal areas. Our coastal distilleries have always had links to the sea and being part of this exciting campaign to share our brands with a wider audience is extremely positive. Scotland’s coastal scenery is stunning and what better way to celebrate it but with a dram whilst visiting one of our distillery brand homes.”

Clea Warner, the National Trust for Scotland’s General Manager with responsibility for island properties said: “We’re delighted to get on board with this fabulous initiative. Through our charity’s management of beautiful and beguiling locations like Iona, Canna, Fair Isle and St Kilda, we know that Scotland offers some of the finest and most rewarding sailing experiences in the world.

“We are fully supportive of this campaign - it’s an excellent prelude to the 2020 themed year of Coasts and Waters when we expect even more attention to be focused on our country’s unrivalled natural beauty.”

For more information about Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, go to https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/marketing-toolkits/year-of-coasts-and-waters-2020

For more information about Sail Scotland go to https://www.sailscotland.co.uk/

For more information about VisitScotland Growth Fund go to    www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/growth-fund