VisitScotland hailed the success of its Highland Cow (or Coo) vans – the latest innovation to drive tourism across the country – at Pollok Country Park on #Coosday (Tuesday, 16 August), where they chewed the cud with Royal Highland Show champion Una Ruadh, 49th of Pollok.
The three vans, named Hamish, Morag and Archie, have been spotted across Scotland throughout the summer providing inspiration and information at events, visitor attractions and tourism hotspots – and have become a talking point amongst visitors and locals.
They took a much needed rest to mingle with their own kind at Pollok Country Park in Glasgow on Tuesday, or #Coosday as it is known on social media. Amongst the fold of cattle was Una Ruadh, 49th of Pollok, who was recently crowned overall champion in the Highland cow category at the 2016 Royal Highland Show.
The moo-verlous additions to the national tourism organisation’s outreach information provision have spent 112 days on the road since April, visiting 110 different sites across Scotland and attending such high-profile events as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Royal Highland Show and Scottish Game Fair.
The ‘herd’ is tended to by seven ‘handlers’, known as Coo-visers, from across Scotland who were picked for the role following an application process earlier this year. They will continue around Scotland until October delivering information to visitors in their unique way.
The cow 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.
They have prompted some curious and unusual responses from the public, with some asking if they can buy the van and if the horns are real, while one particular five-year-old asked if it could visit his heard of Aberdeen Angus!
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:
“The Spirit of Scotland is found, not just in the land, but in its people and it is embodied in our Coo-visers who have taken their passion for our country to every corner of the land to inspire and inform visitors.
“Our coo vans have proved a hit with visitors and residents alike whenever they stop to ‘graze’ on their tour of Scotland’s wonderful attractions and events. They are among the many innovative ways VisitScotland is creating advocates, ambassadors and pride builders for Scotland.
“We were delighted to give our vans a well-earned rest to mingle with Una and her friends at Pollok Country Park, on Coosday no less, before they head out on the road again.”
Bailie Elaine McDougall, Glasgow City Council’s executive member for Transport, Environment and Sustainability, said:
“We are incredibly proud of our award winning fold of highland cattle at Pollok Country Park.
“They attract thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to see these magnificent animals in all their glory.
“Their popularity and success at shows is testament to the hard work of the staff who tend to the animals and care for them every day of the year.”
Tom Thomson, President of the Highland Cattle Society, said:
“The Highland Cattle Society is delighted that VisitScotland is using the iconic Highland Cattle Breed to capture the spirit of Scotland.
“We wholeheartedly support this unique venture to promote our outstanding countryside, endorse our rich heritage and to inform and enlighten visitors.”
The Coo-visers are: John Stewart, from East Renfrewshire; Jen Kilgour, from Glasgow; Laurie Cameron-Black, from Edinburgh; Alice Miller, from Fife; Nick Price, from Perthshire; Michelle Harding, from Edinburgh; Melanie Chadd from Perthshire.
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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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- 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.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- 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 events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
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 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 http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme