Scottish tourism open for business
Scottish tourism is open for business and extending its renowned warm welcome to visitors through the wintry weather, Tourism Minister Jim Mather said today.
In response to the cold snap, VisitScotland has ramped up activity to encourage visitors from the UK and overseas to enjoy a memorable and safe break in Scotland this winter.
Through its Winter White campaign, VisitScotland is providing visitors with access to a range of special offers and last-minute deals for accommodation, tourist attractions, and things to see and do during their winter break in Scotland. The tourism agency is also making sure visitors have access to the latest weather and travel information so they can travel where it is safe to do so.
Despite the wintry spell, the annual campaign is proving popular - with twice as many visits to the website compared with this time last year.
Mr Mather said:
"Scottish tourism demonstrated tremendous flexibility and innovation in responding to several challenges in 2010 - like the ash cloud, the threat of airline strikes and the challenging financial climate.
"That strong and resilient attitude is underlined in the industry's response to the current spell of wintry weather. Throughout these conditions, the sector has been keen to advise visitors that Scotland is open for business and as always, providing a vast range of memorable, value for money experiences that leave no opportunity to consider hibernating."
"People from all over the world flock to Scotland for our famous Hogmanay celebrations, and this year is no exception. Through VisitScotland's Winter White campaign - and our packed Winter Festivals programme, and through our year-long focus on Active Scotland which launches on January 1, we are strongly encouraging visitors to sample more of what Scotland has to offer this winter."
"From experiencing the warm welcome for which Scots are renowned; through sampling some of our delicious, authentic winter fare; to enjoying Scotland's breathtaking winter landscapes or experiencing our thrilling winter sports, visitors have ample opportunity to come and sample a taste of how magical a winter break in Scotland can be."
Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland's Chief Executive, said:
"The severe winter weather has been challenging for tourism businesses, but now that the transport situation is much improved we have a great opportunity to encourage people to visit through our Winter White campaign. Last year's campaign delivered £66 million in additional revenue for tourism businesses and we expect this year's campaign to bring a similar boost.
"Scotland is definitely open for business and is the perfect stage for world class events from Hogmanay celebrations to major sporting events like the Bupa Great Winter Run in Edinburgh in early January."
Last year's Winter White campaign delivered £66 million in additional tourism revenue for Scottish tourism businesses. The campaign launched in November and already interest is higher than last year, with twice as many visits to the winter white website (116,404 in November and December, compared to 55,090 last year). The campaign will run until March.
Active Scotland will unite the tourism industry in a year-long drive to encourage visitors to come to Scotland and experience the vast and diverse range of activities on offer.
The year will launch on January 1, 2011 with the one o'clock run - a fun run for Scots and visitors down Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Active Scotland is the second in a series of focus years to build on the success of Homecoming 2009 in the run-up to a second year of Homecoming in 2014.