VisitScotland has (Thursday 25 June) announced a new marketing strategy focused on helping rebuild tourism as businesses prepare for a possible opening date on 15 July.
The strategy, which will include broadcast and digital advertising will target the Scottish domestic market first of all, before expanding to the rest of the UK and include activity with popular travel platforms such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.
With tourism worth more than £11.5 billion to the Scottish economy, supporting 1 in 12 jobs, the sector has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown and travel restrictions.
The marketing activity will begin with a ‘restart ‘ stage capitalising on the school holiday months for the family market, promoting the different types of holidays and breaks throughout the country and inspiring Scots to travel at home with a ‘call to arms’ to make a real difference to the tourism industry and enjoy what’s on their doorstep.
The main focus of the strategy, aimed at the domestic market will be a Hero film which relays the message ‘You don’t have to travel far’, reminding Scots that there’s a lot to discover close to home that will make a big difference to their health & wellbeing after a period of staying at home but also make a big difference to Scotland. The film will feature some of the tourism industry from across the country representing the different sectors including attractions, activities, food and drink and accommodation.
The strategy introduces a phased approach to ensure communities, of which tourism businesses are a part, don’t feel overwhelmed by a sudden influx on visitors, while getting the tourism industry up and running again. Future phases of the domestic campaign will extend when the time is right to promote Scotland across the UK and Ireland and ensure Scotland remains top of mind over the autumn and winter period too. Extending the season will be a key part of the approach.
VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing, Vicki Miller said: “The Covid19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and events industry so it’s vitally important that we work together to help restart the sector. Our teams have been putting together a marketing strategy that will support regions and sectors, by working with our partners across the country to create a collaborative approach to welcome visitors again.
“We look forward to helping encourage Scots to rediscover their own country, supporting businesses as they prepare for the inevitable operational changes and ensure that communities feel comfortable and capable of welcoming visitors in a safe way.
“It won’t be one size fits all however, we need to move at a pace that will be right for each part of Scotland, depending on the demographic of each region and how they’ve been affected by the pandemic.”
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I very much welcome this new campaign by VisitScotland to kick start the safe and strong return of Scotland’s tourism sector. The campaign highlights the very many fantastic locations and attractions that lie close to home for so many of us. “By taking our first small steps back out on Scotland’s tourism trail, we can again begin to enjoy all of the benefits that our wonderful country has to offer – knowing that we will be helping not only our own wellbeing, but the wellbeing of our tourism sector.”