VisitScotland’s chairman Mike Cantlay is calling on Staycationers and the tourism industry to ‘fall for Scotland’ this autumn in a bid to boost the Scottish economy to the tune of £80million. With evidence showing that people have delayed their holidays because of the Olympics and the poor weather, VisitScotland is hoping to cash in on a last minute surge of people wanting to holiday in Scotland.
The national tourism organisation is poised to launch a robust £3million marketing push, as part of their ongoing ‘Surprise Yourself’ activity, targeting UK ‘staycationers’ and encouraging them to make the most of a holiday at home. The overall campaign aims to deliver £80million in economic impact for Scotland and reach some 20million people UK wide.
An extra £425,000 will be spent on localised marketing activity through VisitScotland’s ‘Explore’ campaign - which specifically encourages Scots to tour different areas in easy drive time.
The marketing surge is one of VisitScotland’s biggest ever autumn campaigns and comes in the wake of what has been a challenging summer season for Scottish tourism with unseasonably bad weather.
Recent research from Travelsupermarket showed that around 3million Brits delayed their holidays due to the Olympics. VisitScotland hopes Scotland can exploit the trend of people potentially taking their holidays later than usual and seduce more visitors to the country in what is traditionally the quieter ‘shoulder season’. Mr Cantlay explains:
“We have an opportunity to sell Scotland to the world like never before. This year has offered remarkable once in a life time opportunities to showcase our country to the world - from Disney Pixar’s Brave (where Scotland is the lead character) in cinema’s UK wide this month, to the vast array of exciting cultural events on offer as part of the Year of Creative Scotland.
“Scotland is well and truly open for business and while the poor weather of the summer has dampened Scottish soil it certainly hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm! That’s why we’ve developed a £3million campaign which will tap into the autumn market and remind people of all the great reasons to holiday closer to home.”
The Autumn Surprise Yourself campaign will feature a roll out of activity targeting Scots and UK staycationers to get out and about and explore their country and take an autumn break. A mix of radio, online, social media and print is being used to promote the wealth of things to see and do in Scotland including the Year of Creative Scotland. The marketing push will focus on themes including arts and culture, gardens, the great outdoors, food and drink, history and heritage and islands.
Partnership working is key to VisitScotland’s approach and the autumn campaign includes collaboration with Scottish National Galleries, Historic Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Royal Botanics Gardens and Scottish Civic Trust promoting their ‘Doors Open Days’ as well as UK wide partners such as BA, Stenaline, East Coast, SYHA and Thistle Hotels.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“VisitScotland’s innovative marketing campaigns showcase all that Scotland has to offer. Whatever the season, visitors can be assured of a warm welcome and a choice of activities from culture and creativity to mountain biking and hill walking in some of the most stunning scenery in the world.
“We will continue to work closely with VisitScotland and other agencies, to make sure we make the most of the enormous opportunities we have to promote Scotland now and in future. This includes Disney-Pixar’s Brave, the Year of Creative Scotland and the Year of Natural Scotland. This activity will be followed by the Year of Homecoming, the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.”