Tourism chiefs have unveiled a multi-million pound advertising campaign to get Scots out on their own doorstep as attractions across the country began their delayed 2020 season.
Dundee’s RRS Discovery and the family-run Newton Farm Holidays business in Angus feature in the £3million VisitScotland marketing drive encouraging people to appreciate what is close to home.
The film delivers the message that ‘Only in Scotland can travelling so little make such a big difference’ and will target staycation Scots before extending its reach within weeks.
The television and radio campaign encourages people to travel close to home in a responsible way and was launched as key attractions welcomed their first guests of the summer following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
It will be rolled out to the rest of the UK from the end of this month, including a partnership with TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Wednesday saw a number of key Tayside tourist attractions return to business, but with a range of social distancing restrictions in place.
They included Dundee Museum of Transport and the city’s botanic gardens, while at Glamis Castle guide-free virtual tours are now available after wifi was installed for the first time in the landmark’s 648-year history.
VisitScotland director of marketing, Vicki Miller said: “We’re delighted to finally be in the position to be able to launch a marketing campaign to celebrate the reopening of tourism.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the industry, and we’d like to encourage people across Scotland to get out there and support businesses in any way we can.
“This film celebrates the huge variety of activities we have right across the country, showing you don’t have to travel too far to have a fantastic experience.
“Alongside this though, it’s important we respect that tourism might not look the same as before, but the warm Scottish welcome remains.
“We ask that people follow the recommended guidelines, book in advance and respect the local communities.”
Tourism secretary, Fergus Ewing said: “It’s been an extremely tough period for Scotland’s tourism sector but thanks to everyone’s efforts in suppressing the virus, we are now at the stage where we can warmly welcome visitors once again.
“VisitScotland’s marketing campaign will be instrumental in encouraging people back to our hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.
“With guidance for businesses and visitors now in place, I would encourage anyone looking to enjoy our attractions, cities and rural areas to plan ahead and familiarise themselves with advice on how to do so safely.”