VisitScotland, has received a number of emails from people cancelling their trips to Scotland as a result of a US Boycott Scotland campaign to shun the country in retaliation for freeing the Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Basset Ali al-Megrahi.
According to eturbonews.com, protesters in the US have created the website boycottscotland.com and called for Americans to cancel trips to both Scotland and Britain. The group has also called for whisky to be renamed ‘freedom liquor’, mirroring the protest against French opposition to the Iraq war in 2003.
“We understand that feelings are running high. However, the strong and enduring relationship between Scotland and the US will continue, as will the friendship between the American and Scottish people. Our priority is ensuring that American visitors are extended a very warm welcome to Scotland,” said a VisitScotland spokeswoman to the travel website.
According to the tourist board, the US market accounted for 340,000 trips to Scotland in 2008 and spent £260 million (US$429 million) in the country. The US is Scotland’s largest overseas market.
The website states that it has been set up by a group of friends and relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. “Americans need to respond to this outrageous miscarriage of justice and betrayal of the victims’ families, who were mostly fellow Americans, by refusing to spend their tourist dollars in Scotland and avoiding any kind of business there. Boycotting is the only way to send a clear and direct message to both the Scottish and British governments that Americans will not tolerate such a flagrant betrayal.”