David Adams McGilp, Regional Director for VisitScotland, looks forward to what 2018 has to offer following a good year for tourism in Argyll and the Isles.
“As we begin a new year, I am filled with optimism and excitement following a great year for tourism in Argyll and the Isles. From highly successful marketing campaigns to hosting top events, 2017 built well on the successes of 2016.
“It was also fantastic to see new investments such as the Carrick Castle Lodge near Lochgoilhead, and the Heroes Centre in Helensburgh further enhance the region’s tourism offering. In 2018 we can look forward to the new Scottish Submarine Centre, also in Helensburgh, which will feature a Cold War midget submarine, the HMS Stickleback. Our reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure that current provision meets future demand.
“New research revealed that Argyll and the Isles is the fourth most visited region in Scotland with an average of 891,000 overnight trips taken here each year. The importance of these trips was also highlighted with 17 per cent of the population employed in the tourism sector, almost double the national average. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change. More and more people are realising just how important the sector is to the economy and these figures illustrate this vital impact that is growing year on year.
“2017 was the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. From the carved footprint at Dunadd Hill Fort in Kilmartin Glen to Inveraray Castle it shone a light on the region’s rich heritage and fascinating history, showcasing some of our best assets and uncovering hidden gems.
“As part of this themed year Argyll and the Isles featured in our Trad Music marketing campaign. Launched in January, it utilised Facebook, Unruly and Spotify to connect young Scots with the spirit of Trad Music, events and festivals. Key events from the campaign included Best of the West, Oban Live and BowFest.
“This year marks the Year of Young People which 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 the year will be a celebratory events programme which will include The Royal National Mòd in Dunoon and Tiree Music festival. These world class events will allow the region to continue to showcase itself, and Scotland, as the perfect stage.
“A major highlight of 2017 was the phenomenal success of the Wild About Argyll campaign. Launched by Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC) in January, the campaign aimed to raise awareness about the region, targeting a young, active market and positioning Argyll and the Isles as Scotland’s Adventure Coast. Supported by the VisitScotland Growth Fund, the online campaign has reached almost 2 million people and has driven more than half a million engagements.
“The campaign has fostered collaboration throughout the region and we have enjoyed strengthened partnerships with AITC, Argyll & Bute Council and other public sector industry partners. We Supported the AITC Tourism Summit in March and are key partners in the Tourism Argyll and the Isles 2020 strategy. Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and I look forward to our continued work with local industry this year to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the region’s visitor economy.
“In 2017 we revealed a dynamic strategy to address the diverse transformation in the way visitors access information on what to see and do while in the country. This year Argyll and the Isles will see a significant increase in the number of channels providing content on places to visit and stay, with a mix of industry partners, Coo Vans and digital products sitting alongside the iCentres in Bowmore, Craignure, Oban and Rothesay.
“Reflecting on a successful year really shows just how fantastic a tourism offering we have in Argyll and the Isles and also how important it is. Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth. I look forward to another great year for tourism in Argyll and the Isles and all the benefits that come with it.”
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- 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
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
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 www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.