VisitScotland announces a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of exploring and protecting the outdoors.
The £124,000 campaign, which looks to counteract some of the issues seen as a result of a new, home grown audience of visitors discovering and enjoying Scotland’s countryside will call on people to respect, protect and enjoy Scotland.
This work will be supported by a dedicated responsible tourism page on visitscotland.com, dedicated itineraries created for travel trade and information and advice for the tourism sector on the corporate website.
With more people enjoying the outdoors as the weather improves and the plan for lockdown restrictions to be lifted towards the end of April, VisitScotland’s campaign will reinforce the importance that as visitors, we should be aware of the consequences of our visits on our stunning landscapes, wildlife and communities.
The activity, which supports the visitor management strategy announced by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing on Friday, will ask visitors to protect our countryside, respect the local communities, wildlife and landscapes but still enjoy the beautiful natural resources we have across the country.
Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing & Digital at VisitScotland said:“We want to protect the stunning landscapes and wildlife that Scotland is famous for and the local communities that are such an important part of our culture.
“We are asking everyone to help keep Scotland special by ensuring we protect our natural resources by being responsible and respectful when out and about.”
The national tourism organisation’s campaign is part of the Visitor Management Strategy and Steering Group, led by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland and includes three workstream groups with focuses on Education and Marketing, Investment and Infrastructure, and Prevention, Regulation & Reassurance.
Some of the issues the groups have been addressing since last year include:
- Littering – dropping and leaving litter, leaving camping equipment, broken glass
- Environmental damage and fire hazards – damaging fences and signage; lighting fires in unauthorised locations or in unsafe ways, felling trees, damaging surrounding wildlife and risking spread of wildfires
- Unsafe waste disposal – people not using designated toilets or appropriate facilities and leaving waste outdoors
- Poor preparation – a lack of understanding of rapid weather change and challenging terrains, sometimes resulting in visitors getting into trouble or requiring assistance
- Traffic and inappropriate parking – increased demand on hot spots, parking in passing places or areas that are not safe or block access to land managers or residents
Whilst the activity launched today will be visible over the forthcoming weeks and month, the collaborative marketing and communications work across the groups will continue throughout the year as tourism begins to reopen.