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Helping visitors until the cows come home

Press release   •   Apr 23, 2018 14:45 BST

VisitScotland’s coo van is not letting the grass grow under its wheels as it heads to four of Orkney’s most popular visitor attractions next week.

The van – one of VisitScotland’s small herd of mobile information centres – will visit Skara Brae, Scapa Distillery, Stromness Ferry Port, the Italian Chapel and Orkney Brewery between 27th and 29th April.

Two of these sites – the brewery and distillery – are first time visits for the coo van, which will also spend some time in Stromness as well as being available in the Stromness Ferry Port harbour car park.

Coo van itinerary:

  • Skara Brae 11am-4pm on 27th April
  • Scapa Distillery 9.30am-1.30 pm on 28th April
  • Stromness Ferry Port 2pm-4.30 pm on 28th April
  • Italian Chapel 10am-1pm on 29th April
  • Orkney Brewery 1.30 pm- 4.15pm on 29th April

The coo van will be joined by members of VisitScotland’s team of specially-trained coo-visors, who are responsible for steering the coos around the country over the summer.

The vans – Hamish, Archie, Morag and Heather – hit the road at the end of March and will attend a number of planned events over the next few months, including the Atholl Gathering, the opening of the V&A Dundee, Ballater Highland Games, the European Pipe Band Championships, Stonehaven Highland Games, the Lonach Gathering, the Hebridean Celtic Festival, the Cairngorms Nature BIG weekend and various farmers markets.

On top of these, they will also visit many different visitor attractions, partner sites and tourism hotspots on a day-to-day basis and will appear at many more before finishing up for the year in early November.

The coo vans are part of VisitScotland’s strategy to provide inspiration to visitors in new and innovative ways and in doing so extend a ‘personal touch’ to outreach marketing activity, passing on distinctive information about things to see and do throughout the country.

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “I know from talking to our coo visors that they are very much looking forward to their trip to Orkney, to meet and offer information to visitors which we hope will then inspire them to visit again in the future.

“We have been mobilising our workforce to deliver the best information to every corner of Scotland through face-to-face and digital channels, including our online community platform, a fleet of coo vans and other outreach activity.

“The coo vans, in particular, have become a real talking point among visitors to events across Scotland, and they will be a popular addition to the many events and locations they attend over the coming months.”

Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.