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Tourism chiefs welcome Google’s St Andrew’s Day homepage image

TOURISM chiefs hailed Google’s decision to use a St Andrew’s Day themed logo on its homepage today (Tue), saying it would raise the profile of Scotland.

The celebration of the country’s national day reached far a field as the world’s biggest search engine used a tartan logo and a Saltire flag on its main page.

The page – which is used by millions of people a day – used the image on both its and global sites.

It was well-received by the country’s main tourism body Visit Scotland, who said it would tap into “national pride”.

A spokeswoman for Visit Scotland said: “It is great to see Google recognising St Andrew’s Day in this way.

“ reaches millions of visitors every day and the fact that Saltire is on the homepage will raise the profile of Scotland’s national day across the world.

“Events that celebrate national dates are important to tourism as they are always used to tap into a feeling of national pride both in Scotland and around the world.

“Visit Scotland sells Scotland to the world, bringing millions of visitors and billions of pounds to the economy and St Andrew’s Day gives us another platform to tell our visitors about everything Scotland can offer as a great holiday destination generally.”

Social networking site Twitter was also offering “Scotsmen and women” a St Andrew’s Day ‘Twibbon’, which pasted a small Saltire and the day’s date to their profile picture which it encouraged they should “wear with pride”.

And Greggs bakers’ north of the border were selling haggis pies to get people in the spirit.

But Google’s gesture was one of the few positives on the day, as treacherous weather conditions meant many festivities had to be called off.

First Minister Alex Salmond was forced to cancel a visit to his former school – Linlithgow Academy, where he was supposed to take part in a question and answer session.

It was organised as part of the Role Models Project, a Scottish scheme which takes former pupils back to their school to discuss how their lives turned out.

Mr Salmond said: “St Andrew’s Day is a special day for Scotland, and at a time when the whole country is being affected by such serious winter weather our national day is a good opportunity to remind people to look out for their neighbours and lend a helping hand where it’s needed.

“I extend to you best wishes from Scotland on the anniversary of our patron saint St Andrew.

“This is a day for everyone across Scotland, and all our friends around the world, to celebrate Scotland, our culture, our people and our many great contributions to humanity.”

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore also had to cancel plans to celebrate the country’s culture at Gylemuir Primary School in Edinburgh.

And celebrations in Edinburgh were further disrupted as the annual shindig in St Andrew Square Garden was called off.

All planned events including the Ceilidh finale were called off because two of the marquees had been damaged by snow, and organisers were worried about public safety.

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