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Scotland is Now

Press Release   •   Apr 11, 2018 11:04 BST

A major new campaign will put Scotland in the international spotlight and showcase the country’s world-leading assets to a global audience.

Launching simultaneously today in North America, London and China, ‘Scotland is Now’ is designed to put the country firmly at the top of everyone’s list of places to live, work, study, invest and visit.

Attracting more migrant talent, international students, expanding overseas businesses and high-spend tourists will grow Scotland’s economy and further cement its reputation as an open, diverse and welcoming country.

The campaign sees the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and Universities Scotland join forces for the first time to promote Scotland under a single unified national brand, bringing together combined spending of up to £6 million to promote Scotland globally.

‘Scotland is Now’ builds on the nation’s acknowledged strengths as a land of unrivalled history, breath-taking scenery and warm welcomes, but shines a light on lesser-known qualities: a pioneering, dynamic and progressive nation taking the lead on key global challenges.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who unveiled the campaign in China, said: “The message at the heart of ‘Scotland is Now’ is of a bold and positive country offering the warmest of welcomes, rich in history and heritage and with a progressive, pioneering and inclusive approach to our future.

“The campaign will inspire people to be part of Scotland’s future and tell Scotland’s story through those who know it best – people who have embraced living, working, studying, visiting and investing here.”

The campaign includes a core Scotland film, which is being launched today, alongside a number of ‘people’ films which offer a personal perspective from those who call Scotland home.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown offered audiences in New York a sneak-peak at ‘Scotland is Now’ during Scotland Week last week, while the campaign is being launched in China as part of the First Minister’s visit.The campaign will be showcased at an event in London on Friday hosted by Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The campaign brings together public sector partners with key business interests and will be a vehicle to support export growth in the private sector.

Charlie Smith, VisitScotland Director of Marketing & Digital said: “’Scotland is Now’ is an exciting and bold collaborative campaign which uses our rich mix of people, place and experience to tell Scotland’s story. At the heart of this movement is the message that Scotland is a country with the warmest of welcomes, one that is challenging new thinking, inviting new investment, creating new opportunities for study and jobs. Using stories that sum up the very best of our welcome, our humanity and community spirit, we hope that Scots and those who love Scotland everywhere will get behind this campaign and encourage people to live, work, invest, study and visit right now.”

Gerry O’Donnell, Corporate Affairs Director at Edrington (the company behind iconic whisky brands such as Macallan), said:“‘Scotland is Now’ presents a confident narrative that connects well with Scotch whisky’s authenticity and growth potential. It’s a story that all exporters can get behind.”

Scotland has more world-class universities per head of population than almost anywhere else in the world, has the highest percentage of international and EU students than anywhere else in the UK and is the most successful part of the UK for spin-out creation.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde said: “‘Scotland is Now’ is a vibrant and modern way to demonstrate all that the country has to offer. Our university sector is one of the very best in the world and each year we generate thousands of work-ready graduates, discover new knowledge, produce new research and create innovative developments which help society to tackle its biggest issues.

“‘Scotland is Now’ will tell the world about our country’s many strengths and the University of Strathclyde is proud to be part of that story.”

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance said: “The launch of ‘Scotland Is Now’ marks the beginning of a hugely exciting time for Scotland’s tourism industry and indeed all sectors across Scotland.Tourism has been acknowledged as being one of Scotland’s most important industries; it touches every business and sector and fuels all parts of our economy.I would encourage all tourism businesses to get on board, raise your business profile within the visitor market and help to make Scotland the number one global destination to visit.”

Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch, Chief Executives of Standard Life Aberdeen said“Standard Life Aberdeen is a global company proud to have our headquarters and majority of operations in Scotland. We are therefore delighted to support Scotland Is Now, an ambitious campaign that aims to remind the world what many of our colleagues based here already know – that Scotland is great place to live, work, invest and 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 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.