A dedicated consumer marketing campaign promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands to Scottish, wider UK and European visitors has launched.
The marketing campaign is part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands, a project covering several mainland regions and all the Scottish islands, from Shetland to Arran and Cumbrae. The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is a partnership project between The Highland Council and High Life Highland, which will be delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland to carry out a £500,000 multi-channel marketing campaign.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will encourage visitors to explore and experience all parts of the Highlands and Islands, as well as inspiring them to attend and support festivals and events, as well as visitor attractions and outdoor locations across the area. In addition, the project will focus on enhancing the region’s reputation for outstanding natural and cultural beauty by encouraging year-round visits across the Highlands and Islands. The project will encourage visitors to enjoy slow and immersive travel, maximising the benefits and contributing to the sustainable recovery of the tourism sector post-pandemic.
The diversity of the Highlands and Islands – its spirit – is at the heart of the project, with places, people and their stories being key themes. It aims to inspire visitors to enjoy and care for this unique heritage.
The new campaign will include a dedicated publishing partnership with the Guardian, digital advertising, organised press trips enabling journalists to experience the heritage of the Highlands and Islands for themselves, a broadcast campaign, social media activity, work with social and digital influencers, bloggers and vloggers and travel trade activity.
Launching this month, the Guardian publishing partnership will include digital display adverts showcasing the different regions and a series of inspirational articles encouraging readers to discover the Highlands and Islands’ unique natural and cultural heritage.
The articles include seven slow adventures (referencing distilleries, golden eagles and Macbeth); a locals’ guide (including wild ponies, winter walks and malt whisky); Selkies, trows and ancient kings (referencing selkies, kelpies and whisky galore); magnificent wildlife (including orcas and all creatures, great and small) and some less well-known gems of the Highlands and Islands (including winter adventures).
The campaign will also cover Gaelic language as well as the music, art and crafts of the Highlands and Islands. It aims to bring benefits to local communities and unlock economic potential, creating and sustaining jobs, businesses, and services.
Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness City and Area and co-chair of the Inverness Castle project Delivery Group said:
“We want to ignite visitors’ sense of passion for local culture, nature and heritage through the stories that are told by communities within the Highlands and Islands. The splendour of colours in the autumn and winter months is breath-taking, so encouraging visitors to explore the Highlands and Islands during these seasons offers a different pace that is reflected in the regions.”
Mark Tate, Chair of High Life Highland, said:
“There is so much to uncover throughout the Highlands and Islands. We want visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the natural and cultural beauty that we are lucky to call home. The joint marketing campaign will inspire visitors to come and take time to explore and really engage with our local culture and nature.”
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing, said:
“The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands marketing campaign will bring the unique natural and cultural beauty of the region to life. The campaign aims to encourage visitors to enjoy their trip in a way that means the attributes which make these regions so attractive can be enjoyed for years to come. As we move into winter, now is the perfect time to shine a light on the area and amazing experiences our visitors can have across the whole of the Highlands and Islands.”
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is part of the Inverness Castle project. The castle, opening in 2025, will benefit from £30m investment to support its re-development from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a range of other partners.
The Inverness Castle project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal, which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.’
For more information about the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, please visit Discover the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands | VisitScotland | VisitScotland and https://discoverhighlandsandislands.scot/