A new campaign inviting influencers from across the world to stay in an exclusive Inverness location to showcase the local area’s full offering throughout the year has received support from VisitScotland.
Inverness Influencer Lodge, led by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN), has received a £21,500 VisitScotland Growth Fund award. The Growth Fund, delivered by the national tourism organisation supports national, regional and sectoral tourism groups across Scotland to deliver partnership marketing campaigns.
The 12-month project aims to spread visitors more widely throughout the destination all year round by highlighting hidden gems and other lesser known places to visit.
Influencers from the UK, US, Germany and France will be invited to stay at the River Lodge, part of Ness Castle Lodges in Inverness, where they will have the opportunity to travel around the Inverness and Loch Ness area at their leisure, allowing them to experience the region like a local, enjoying the vast and varied offering.
It is inspired by the highly successful ‘BlogVille’ project by the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board in Northern Italy. Between 2012 and 2016 they hosted 180 bloggers from five continents in a private apartment, reaching over 18 million people across a variety of online platforms.
The River Lodge will be open for one week in March and June next year and influencers will be invited to stay for a period of three or four nights. The lodge has capacity to accommodate up to 14 influencers each week. During their stay they will create inspiring digital content which they will share across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The content created will be available to VILN’s member businesses to share across their channels to ensure that the campaign’s longevity extends beyond the year.
Graeme Ambrose, Chief Executive of VILN, said:“This project aims to showcase the full offering of the Inverness and Loch Ness area, ensuring the benefits of tourism are felt across the region, throughout the year. The support of VisitScotland is a major boost for the campaign and I’m excited to welcome influencers from across the world to our Inverness Lodge in the new year.”
Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “The Inverness Influencer Lodge is an exciting new campaign which will ensure the benefits of tourism are felt across the Inverness and Loch Ness area throughout the year. At VisitScotland we want to spearhead digital innovation that promotes local areas so I’m thrilled we were able to support this project.
“We continue to focus our marketing efforts on sharing the tourism windfall beyond the traditional sites to lesser known parts of Scotland and extending the visitor season across the whole of the year, encouraging holidaymakers to get a truly authentic experience, connecting with the local culture and heritage.”
VILN is the Tourism Business Improvement District (BID) for Inverness and Loch Ness. The organisation was established in March 2014 following a ballot of all member businesses. Today the organisation has almost 400 levy paying members and 50 ‘opt-in’ members from all the key tourism sectors in the Inverness, Loch Ness and surrounding area – hotels, guest houses, self-catering, visitor attractions, restaurants, outdoor activity providers and more.
The VisitScotland Growth Fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects which focus on growth and ensure that visitors experience the best of Scotland. To be eligible for a Growth Fund award, applicants must place a strong emphasis on digital marketing and the creation of digital content assets.