With £2bn being invested currently in its tourism infrastructure, Scotland’s business tourism leaders were in London, 11 March, at the National Geographic London Store in the West End to promote the Year of Natural Scotland.
Invited media guests were treated to a showcase of the country’s rich heritage and unique attractions, illustrating how the natural Scottish landscape and its products could be accessed for add-ons to incentive programmes and for conference delegates. The evening also saw the launch of a set of images of Natural Scotland from internationally celebrated photographer Jim Richardson.
“The launch of the Year of Natural Scotland will inspire people from all over the world to visit Scotland because of its stunning natural environment. With varied and unique meeting spaces and a plethora of academic, sporting and historical venues Scotland offers delegates a world class conference destination,” said Neil Brownlee, Head of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit.
The big idea is to combine Scotland’s natural heritage with its business product. “2013 is a massive year for Scotland with a plethora of things to see and do and a host of events to participate in across the country,” said Brownlee who flagged up the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games as major events on the horizon.
A VisitScotland Growth Fund of £150k themed around the Year of Natural Scotland is now open to businesses, as the campaign celebrates eight key themes: Natural landscapes; Natural built heritage; Natural larder; Sustainable tourism; Natural playground, Flora and fauna, Art in nature and Nature in cities.
The natural larder was on show at the National Geographic London Store event with fresh Scottish oyster, Glengoyne whisky, while a fly fishing expert and a mountain guide were on hand to give first hand advice and information on some of the natural tourism tourism sites.
Brownlee told CN the Year of Natural Scotland provided a great logo and story for meeting and event organisers to bolt on to their events as part of any CSR programme. “It dovetails nicely,” he said, adding that a key objective of the campaign was “to inspire the people of Scotland and visitors to experience and participate in Scotland’s natural heritage at festivals and events, natural tourism attractions and outdoor locations”.
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