Visitors to this week’s Royal Highland Show can enjoy a glimpse of the Highlands and Islands few get to experience.
Utilising immersive 360-degree films inside a specially created immersive portal, the experience is thanks to the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.
Inside the portal – the only one of its kind in the Highlands and Islands – people will be taken on a journey across land, sea and air to places well off the beaten track.
Project Director Fiona Hampton said: “Our award-winning team of experienced filmmakers at Airborne Lens have created two films which showcase the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
“The films were inspired by stories submitted to the project by communities around the region and invite the viewer to uncover the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands on an immersive journey told by the people who live, work and travel here.”
The portals are 5m x 5m and fully immerse people into the 360-degree films.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project aims to encourage visitors to explore and experience the more remote and rural parts of the Highlands and Islands, as well as inspiring them to attend and support festivals and events, workshops, visitor attractions and outdoor locations.
By utilising specially shot 360-degree videos, the project aims to enhance the Highlands and Islands’ reputation as a place of outstanding natural and cultural beauty with a landscape and biodiversity to engage with and enjoy responsibly, to the domestic and international market.
VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director Chris Taylor said: “Being able to immerse yourself in the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands is what makes a visit here so captivating. The use of this virtual and augmented reality is a fantastic opportunity to help bring that experience to life for visitors and encourage them to visit the region for themselves.
“The Spirit of the Highlands and project aims to encourage visitors to stay longer, visit all year round and explore more widely. Tourism is a force for good. It creates jobs, sustains communities and contributes significantly to the economy.”
The Royal Highland Show is an annual event, showcasing the best of food, farming and rural life at Ingliston in Edinburgh.
Each year over 1,000 trade exhibitors, over 2,000 livestock competitors enter into more than 900 competitions, with over 6,500 animals, and tens of thousands of visitors come to the Royal Highland Show to experience the best of farming, food and rural life.
It takes place June 23-26.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Reflecting the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands theme, it will encourage people to visit all parts of the Highlands and Islands in a sustainable way.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is part of the Inverness Castle project which is supported by the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal, 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.