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New VisitScotland ambassadors prove that the pull of Scotland is too strong to resist at launch of new international Homecoming campaign

February 18, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

A Gaelic singer, a re-enactor of medieval battles and the Director of Festivals Edinburgh are among eight new faces chosen to front VisitScotland’s biggest Homecoming Scotland 2014 international marketing campaign.

Kathleen MacInnes, Robert Ballantyne and Faith Liddell join a total of 23 Meet the Scots ambassadors from throughout Scotland who will be encouraging overseas visitors to “feel the pull” of the country in 2014, the year in which Scotland welcomes the world.

The 2014 Meet the Scots campaign, which is accompanied by photographs of the ambassadors in iconic places such as Stirling Castle, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and the Eildon Hills in the Borders, was launched today with a special tug o’ war on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Among those in attendance were Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, and Mike Cantlay, Chairman of 250x250VisitScotland.

The £1.7 million online and print marketing promotion is targeting millions of potential visitors in the key European markets of Germany, France and Spain, as well as Italy, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. Further afield, Meet the Scots is aimed at the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Each ambassador has been chosen as a ‘real-life’ Scot, who is able to add their own authentic ‘insider’ touch to present inspiring themes that are important to them and showcase the range and depth of activities, events and festivals taking place across Scotland throughout 2014.

New ‘Scots’ for 2014 include: Robert Ballantyne (Battle Re-enactor), Faith Liddell (Director, Festivals Edinburgh), Ann Miller (Strathisla Distillery), Guy Grieve (Scallop Diver), William Mackay (Concierge at Prestonfield House Hotel), Sheila Condie (Glenelg Inn), Kathleen MacInnes (Gaelic Singer), Kevin Reid (Strathisla Distillery Technician).

Designed to ensure that international visitors are aware of all the great reasons to visit Scotland in every single month of the year, the campaign shines a spotlight on each month in 2014 and key Homecoming events and activities taking place at that time.

The seasonal Meet the Scots calendar is as follows:

– Romantic February – William Kay, concierge, Prestonfield House

– Mythical March – Sheila Fleet, jewellery designer, Orkney

– Wild April (launch of John Muir Way) – Caroline Warburton, Scottish wildlife specialist, Glenfinnan

– Whisky May (Whisky Month) – Kevin Reid, distillery technician, Strashisla Distillery

– Heroic June (Bannockburn Live) – Robert Ballantyne, re-enactor and historian, Stirling Castle

– Adventurous July (Commonwealth Games) – Stevie Christie, Owner of Wilderness Scotland, Eildon Hills

– Festival Fever August (Edinburgh Festivals) – Faith Liddell, Director of Festivals Edinburgh, Royal Mile

– Delicious September (Food and Drink Fortnight, Ryder Cup, Forth Bridges Festival) – Guy Grieve, sustainable fisherman, Mull

– Lyrical October (Highland Homecoming) – Kathleen MacInnes, Gaelic singer, Loch Assynt

– Cosy November (Winter Festivals) – Sheila Condie, Manager of Glenelg Inn, Skye

– Festive December (Hogmanay) – Howie Nicholsby, kilt designer, Edinburgh

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Our Meet the Scots campaign has proved hugely popular over the years. The Scots lend a truly authentic human warmth to the campaign and we are delighted to welcome a further eight new Scots to the 2014 Homecoming campaign.

“This year is perfect to showcase all the different aspects of Scotland that act as key motivators for our international markets, marrying up stunning locations with a friendly Scottish face and underlining that 2014 is the year to visit Scotland. It is a hugely flexible campaign and appeals to both European and Long Haul audiences equally ensuring they all distinctively ‘feel the pull” of our breath-taking country.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, said: “2014 will be an exciting and historic year for tourism in Scotland. We will be centre stage as host to two of the biggest sporting events in the world – the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

“2014 will also see the second year of Homecoming, which will put Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. “I’m delighted to welcome the latest new ‘Meet the Scots’ ambassadors. This campaign has proved successful in encouraging visitors from Europe, North America and the Far East to come to Scotland. “Scotland will extend a hand of friendship and a warm welcome to visitors from around the world to celebrate our greatest assets.”

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