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​It’s a ‘ruff’ job, but some pooch has to do it…

Press Release   •   Mar 09, 2016 08:44 GMT

They have a ‘nose’ for the best food and drink, a ‘tail’ for adventure and sometimes a happy bark is the only review needed for beaches and walking trails across the land.

Now VisitScotland, working in partnership with search and recruitment agency Denholm Associates, is setting out to fill the role of International Canine Ambassador or Ambassadog, to set their ‘paw of approval’ on journeys across Scotland.

From the Highlands and Lowlands, to cities and towns and from bothies to pubs, the four-legged friend will follow in his or her owner’s footsteps to take in everything Scotland has to offer – all to be documented on social media.

The V.I.D. (or ‘very important dog’) may be called upon to attend star-studded events and photocalls, launches and even meet some famous faces along the way. They will be able to talk (or bark!) about Scotland to the world on a dedicated ‘blog’ on highlighting their ongoing adventures and escapades and capturing the real spirit of the country.

Any dog living in Scotland is eligible to apply for the job and the chosen pooch will be required to travel around the country easily with his/her owner. The dog will receive a special prize for its owner - an exclusive, inspirational and unique dog-friendly holiday in Scotland in 2016*.

To apply, dogs should get their owners to go to (from 8am on 9 March) to complete the application process. They will be asked to provide, in no more than 500 words, a reason why their dog would make the best ‘Ambassadog’ of Scotland. This should include references to the dog’s personality, where they have travelled to in Scotland and any special talents they may have! Six dogs will be shortlisted to attend an interview event this spring.

Helen Campbell, Head of Global Brand and Marketing Communications at VisitScotland said:

We are very excited to begin our search for an Ambassadog for VisitScotland. We are looking for an outgoing, sociable pooch who is able to capture the spirit of Scotland through their adventures and share them to inspire the world to visit.

“Scotland is the perfect destination for going on holiday, whether with a dog or not. You can explore ancient forests and shaded glens, take a walk along an award-winning beach and discover fascinating history in castles. We can’t wait to meet our new furry advocate and we hope lots of fabulous dogs and their owners apply.”

Nicki Denholm, CEO of Denholm Associates, said:

Denholm Associates attracts top talent from CEOs for global brands to junior positions in the creative sector to Ambassadogs. All of these top dogs have one thing in common – they are the very best at what they do.

“We are seeking a dog who loves Scotland as much as we do. Sniffing must be in your DNA. The successful candidog will have good banter, unwavering enthusiasm and relish the opportunity to tour the country. Good manners are a bonus.”

The search for a Scottish Ambassadog is part of the national tourism organisation’s new Spirit of Scotland campaign, launched in February 2016. The global campaign is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit– whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people. Everyone who has shared their #ScotSpirit will become part of a special social movement. To find our more, visit

VisitScotland begins the search for its new Scottish Ambassadog from 8am today (Wednesday, 9 March). This search continues for four weeks and a shortlist of dogs will be announced at the end of April. For more information, or to be involved, visit

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 seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • 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, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • 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
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting