“You’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland afore you. Where me and my true love will never meet again, On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.” That’s right folks, this week we’re heading North of the Border, or at least we’re trying to, despite the Covid-19 restrictions.
And, as it’s a case of “keep the heid”, as VisitScotland attempts to get back to some semblance of normality, with businesses preparing for a possible reopening date on July 15.
With tourism worth more than £11.5bn to the Scottish economy, supporting 1 in 12 jobs, the sector has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown and travel restrictions.
It is all kicking off with a new marketing campaign beginning with a “restart” stage, capitalising on the school holiday months for the family market. While it will only target Scots at first, promoting the different types of holidays and breaks throughout the country, it features a “call to arms” to make a difference to the tourism industry and enjoy what’s on their doorstep. Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
The main focus of the strategy relays the message “You don’t have to travel far”, reminding Scots that there’s a lot to discover close to home that will make a big difference to their health and wellbeing after a period of staying at home but also make a big difference to Scotland.
The film features some of the tourism industry from across the country representing the different sectors including attractions, activities, food and drink and accommodation.
The strategy introduces a phased approach to ensure communities, of which tourism businesses are a part, do not feel overwhelmed by a sudden influx on visitors. Just ask the good citizens of Brighton and Bournemouth what that feels like…
Future phases of the domestic campaign will extend when the time is right to promote Scotland across the UK and Ireland and ensure Scotland remains top of mind over the autumn and winter period too. Extending the season will be a key part of the approach.
VisitScotland director of marketing Vicki Miller said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and events industry so it’s vitally important that we work together to help restart the sector. Our teams have been putting together a marketing strategy that will support regions and sectors, by working with our partners across the country to create a collaborative approach to welcome visitors again.
“We look forward to helping encourage Scots to rediscover their own country, supporting businesses as they prepare for the inevitable operational changes and ensure that communities feel comfortable and capable of welcoming visitors in a safe way.
“It won’t be one size fits all, however, we need to move at a pace that will be right for each part of Scotland, depending on the demographic of each region and how they’ve been affected by the pandemic.”
So, what’s the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Well, to be honest, we love a bit of the auld country and it is such a shame that we can’t get there at the moment. In the meantime, it’s up to the Scots to ensure that the lockdown doesn’t trigger a “tatties o’wer the side” moment. Still, if they love their country as much as they say they do, it shouldn’t be a problem and “lung may yer lum reek”.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A William Wallace inspired 8 out 10 ( it’s a lang road that’s no goat a turnin’)