Have you got #ScotSpirit?

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Have you #ScotSpirit?

VisitScotland unveils first ever global campaign and social movement to harness the power of the nation behind tourism

‘Spirit of Scotland' heralded as a ‘new era' for the national tourism organisation and a ‘destination marketing first'

#ScotSpirit movement launched with social, economic and charitable aims

VisitScotland is bringing the spirit of Scotland to life in its first ever global campaign and social movement.

Launched to the world today (10 February 2016) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the campaign aims to raise the spirit and profile of Scotland to the highest it has ever been in history by igniting the power of a nation behind tourism.

The campaign will evoke emotion in all those who encounter it worldwide through TV, radio, print, digital advertising and social media.

The First Minister was joined by stunt bike athlete and viral sensation Danny MacAskill to reveal the initiative, alongside well-known faces that embody the spirit of Scotland including Social Bite entrepreneur, Josh Littlejohn and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir.

The campaign is one of a series of initiatives that fundamentally change the way VisitScotland markets and sells the country around the world. An inspirational and interactive new website has also been launched to enable every tourism business and organisation to drive new business, helping tourism reach its ambition of £1 billion growth by 2020.

A key focus of this campaign will be the #ScotSpirit movement which seeks to go beyond standard destination marketing and impact every industry, business and person.

People across the world will be asked to share their experience of the spirit of Scotland through #ScotSpirit and in doing so become part of a special movement with social, economic and charitable aims.

To start the conversation, VisitScotland has introduced ‘The Seven Spirits of Scotland' - key traits that can be found within the characters of the people and landscapes of the country:







7. FUN

The Seven Spirits will be used throughout the campaign, encouraging visitors, residents and those who just love Scotland to reveal what the Scottish spirit means to them.

VisitScotland is also working with the UK charity Family Holiday Association and the tourism industry to create opportunities for struggling families in Scotland, many of whom will never have had a family holiday, to see more of their country. Everyone who gets involved and shares their #ScotSpirit will be part of this very special social movement, raising the profile of social tourism worldwide.

A new era for VisitScotland - key aspects of campaign and social movement:

  • New VisitScotland global brand identity and interactive website
  • Cinematic-style TV adverts with time-lapse imagery directed by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Ben Craig, featuring a soundtrack composed by Giles Lamb and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a voiceover by Scottish actor and Game of Thrones star Iain Glen. In the USA, the advert will be narrated by Perthshire-born star of the US hit The Good Wife, Alan Cumming
  • Twelve online emotive short documentaries which capture the spirit of Scotland through the eyes of those that live and work here including a piper in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the train driver of the Jacobite Steam Train and a scallop diver in Skye*
  • Partnerships with world-leading digital brands to tell the story of Scotland in different ways through different perspectives
  • Specific focused investment across the UK, key regions across France and Germany and in New York City - key growth markets for Scotland. Through digital and social media, the reach of the campaign will be worldwide
  • Worldwide #ScotSpirit movement which has charitable, social and economic aims and encourages people to become ambassadors for Scotland
  • Everyone involved in the #ScotSpirit campaign becomes part of a mission to help children see, experience and learn more about their own country through social tourism charity, the Family Holiday Association
  • New ‘community tourism' forum that will help visitors plan their trip and get real time help online (to be launched in Spring)
  • A new Growth Fund to enable digital marketing projects across the industry (to be launched in Spring)
  • Joint marketing partnership with transport providers including Abellio ScotRail and CalMac Ferries Ltd to encourage more visitors to more parts of the country. This will include the development of the ‘Spirit of Scotland Travel Pass' that will be launched in Spring 2016
  • Helping children in Scotland to see more of their own country through new education liaison scheme (to be launched later in the year)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"The spirit of Scotland is an indefinable quality that permeates all of the wonderful things that happen in our country and it encompasses many things - warmth, humour, guts, spark, soul determination and fun.

"That spirit has a global reputation. Each year, many thousands of visitors travel to our country to sample what it offers. They come from all over the globe to see our incredible attractions, share our experiences and sample our internationally renowned food and drink.

"But nowhere is the spirit of Scotland more evident than in its people - visitors to our country can be guaranteed that the people they meet and the welcome they receive will leave a lasting impression.

"So who could be better to be involved in a new campaign to bring even more visitors to Scotland than those who live here or visitors who love our country?

"Using the hashtag #ScotSpirit, people can get involved and demonstrate what you think makes Scotland special. Everyone who shares their experiences will be part of a special movement to promote Scotland across the globe and people sharing from overseas will become part of Scotland's extended family."

In total, the creative, media and PR investment in the UK, North America, France and Germany for the Spirit of Scotland campaign is in the region of £4.25 million.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

"Tourism in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength against a difficult economic backdrop and uncertainty in travel. In the last 12 months there has been a 7% increase in visitors and an 8% increase in spend, but we cannot and must not be complacent.

"After nearly a year in the making, we are delighted to launch the Spirit of Scotland campaign. The new advertising visuals are breath-taking and I'm sure they will inspire many to make the journey to Scotland, but this is about so much more than stunning imagery. It's about harnessing a nation behind tourism.

"We want everyone who cares for Scotland to get behind this campaign by using #ScotSpirit and in doing so become ambassadors for the country and create this very special movement.

"Scotland is a unique place inhabited by a unique people - a combination that creates an inimitable spirit. The emotional pull of this spirit can't be duplicated by other destinations. You have to come to Scotland to experience it. But once you've felt it, our spirit will stay with you forever."

As part of the Spirit campaign, VisitScotland has worked with the Family Holiday Association and Scottish tourism industry providers to add a charitable initiative to raise the profile and importance of social tourism. Thanks to donations from providers across the country including Hilton, Accor, Macdonald, National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Youth Hostel Association and Abellio ScotRail, we are gifting short breaks to more than 100 vulnerable and disadvantaged adults and children.

John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association, said:

"The Family Holiday Association is delighted to be working with VisitScotland on the Spirit of Scotland campaign. Over the years we've helped hundreds of struggling Scottish families to benefit from a short break or day out to experience more of the #ScotSpirit for themselves. This campaign is a fantastic opportunity to work with VisitScotland and their partners to help even more Scottish families in 2016.

"We see #ScotSpirit every day in the families we help, families who are struggling with some of the toughest challenges life can bring but are able to create memories that will last a lifetime, strengthening family bonds along the way."

The Spirit of Scotland campaign launches today (Wed 10 February) worldwide. To find our more go to www.visitscotland.com/ScotSpirit

Join the conversation by using #ScotSpirit


For further information contact:

Kate Turnbull, Corporate Press Manager

0131 472 2324 / 07854401040

Notes to Editors
* People featured in mini-documentaries:

Sgt. Andrew Reid - Piper - Edinburgh

Ben Oakes - Scallop Diver - Isle of Skye

Fiona Thompson - Park ranger - Loch Lomond

Serge - Head Chef - St Andrews

Jackie Higgins - Castle Steward - Caerlaverock castle, Dumfries and Galloway

Fiona Shepherd - Glasgow Music Tours

Ewan Robertson - Kayaker - Arisaig

Megan Henderson - Kayaker - Arisaig

Alec - Train driver - Glenfinnan

Tim Ford -Canal Barge - Falkirk

Rebecca Hutton - Tweed weaver - Isle of Harris

William MacLean - Windsurfing

Andy Scott - Kelpies - Falkirk

About the Family Holiday Association

  • The Family Holiday Association is the only national charity dedicated to providing seaside breaks and day trips for families struggling with some of the toughest challenges life can bring
  • Almost 5 million children in the UK miss out on a holiday of at least one week a year due to low income (Source: Family Resources Survey 2004/05 to 2013/14)
  • In 2015 the charity helped 3,734 families take a much needed break
  • Family Holiday Association in Scotland
    • Helped provide breaks and days out to 373 Scottish families in 2015 (822 over past 3 years)
    • Works with over 150 Scottish charities and support organisations to identify families who could benefit from a break
    • Owns 2 caravans at Craig Tara in Ayrshire to provide families with much-needed breaks
    • Runs the Holidays Matter network
  • The short breaks VisitScotland secures will be distributed via Family Holiday Association to a wider network of charities and organisations that work with families in need.
  • Organisations looking to refer a family can visit the Family Holiday Association website for more information. www.FamilyHolidayAssociation.org.uk


  • 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

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 http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team


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