Have a fling with spring in the Highlands
A marketing campaign to inspire people to visit the Highlands this spring and summer has been launched by VisitScotland, in partnership with The Highland Council.
From sea to summit, the Highlands have captured the imaginations of generations of travellers. With dramatic mountains, tranquil lochs, stunning beaches and glorious areas of wilderness, the Highlands provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.
The tourism organisation’s campaign is now live, runs until the end of March and includes a direct mail campaign targeting over 20,000 contacts in the UK interested in visiting the Highlands. The brochure features stunning images from around the region, including Glenfinnan Viaduct at Lochaber, a plate of fresh seafood in Gairloch, Wester Ross, and Dunvegan Castle, on the Isle of Skye.
The campaign complements VisitScotland’s Brilliant Moments campaign and also includes a mix of communication channels, including national print, radio and online advertising. It will also involve digital activity, including Facebook posts, e-mails and online banners.
It encourages visitors to the Highlands to explore the Outdoor Capital of the UK in Lochaber and paddle past the sparkling waters by the stunning Singing Sands of Ardnamurchan. In the Cairngorms National Park, they can spot rare wildlife in spectacular alpine habitats and amid ancient Caledonian pines.
And in this, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, visitors can sample the best home-grown produce from land and sea in Skye & Lochalsh - from venison and seafood to whisky and chocolate. Nearer to Inverness, they can dine in style at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Nairn, visit a farmers’ market in Dingwall or sample a dram from Tomatin Distillery or the Black Isle Brewery.
Scott Armstrong, Regional Partnerships Director of VisitScotland, said: “The Highlands have always been a popular choice among visitors but it is important to keep momentum going following the major events of 2014. Tourism is at the heart of the region’s economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities.
“With our outstanding natural larder taking centre stage during the Year of Food and Drink 2015, this campaign offers visitors, from both Scotland and further afield, just a taste of the many brilliant moments the Highlands can offer.
“We have worked in partnership with the Highland Council, local Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) and businesses to deliver this regional marketing campaign. Our dedicated direct mail, radio promotion and print advertising is reaching the strongest target markets for encouraging more trips to the Highlands through the spring and summer seasons.”
Forthcoming events in the Highlands are also highlighted, including The NIP Festival in Inverness and Etape Loch Ness, both in April; the Cairngorms Nature Festival the Wild Lochaber Festival at various locations around Lochaber, both in May.
Councillor Thomas Prag, chair of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: “As the days get longer, the light in the Highlands gets better and better – my camera is going to be busy as the colours come to life. The Highlands always have something to offer, but if pressed, I encourage folk to come in the spring – wildlife is burgeoning, spring flowers waking up and trees changing by the day – while the midges stay well away. And when your energy levels need replenishing, the range of world-class eateries in this year of food and drink is mouth-watering.”
Consumers can also enter a competition to win a brilliant break for two in the Highlands, including a three-night stay at 4-star Inveran Lodge B&B in Nairn, including afternoon tea; a three-course dinner at the Bandstand Restaurant in Nairn and National Trust for Scotland Discover passes, giving entry to Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre.