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Tourism Game Plan

Press Release   •   Dec 29, 2015 15:53 GMT

It’s the time of year that every gamer loves with the shops filled with brand new video game releases and many receiving the latest new console from Santa.

With the popularity of video games on the rise thanks to the explosion of smart phones and success of new platforms, VisitScotland has identified a new tourism trend – the “consoliday” (console-holiday) - people choosing to experience in real life the landscapes they see virtually before them within the games, or wanting to visit the country in which the game was conceived.

Minecraft fans turned out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of Stampy the Cat in Dundee last month, and with popular tour operators such as STA already offering special ‘gaming adventure tours’, the national tourism organisation is hoping consolidays could be as popular as ‘set-jetting’, where people visit a destination after seeing it in a film.

Scotland features in a number of games such as Grand Theft Auto (Forth Bridges and other destinations), Call of Duty: Ghosts (Stonehaven/Dunnottar Castle), Tomb Raider III (Loch Ness), Project Gotham Racing 2 (Edinburgh), the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series and more.

In addition to being inspired by the landscapes on screen, gaming fans also travel miles to Scotland to see where their favourite games were created in cities such as Dundee and Edinburgh.

Dundee is known as the birthplace of the Scottish games industry with some of the world's biggest titles developed within the city including Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. The city currently plays host to numerous design studios and Abertay University is famous for its world-leading video game development courses.

Edinburgh is the home of Rockstar North – developer of the successful Grand Theft Auto series – and many make the trip to Scotland’s capital city to get their photo taken outside the company’s office which has recently moved to Holyrood Road.

Game development and design will play a significant role in Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 with events over the year including Dare ProtoPlay - Scotland’s largest video games festival - celebrating innovation, creativity and talent in the industry.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on Scotland’s fascinating creative achievements. Scotland’s video games industry is a thriving, internationally acclaimed sector which punches well above its weight and is a major contributor to our country’s economy.

“We are delighted that the new consoliday trend has potential, with gamers from home and abroad heading to Scotland to discover the landscapes they’ve seen virtually, and also experience where the inspiration for many world famous games began.”

Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016. For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016

Join the conversation #IAD2016

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.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • 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 Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland