THE national tourism organisation believes with staycations set to be popular this year, an increasing number of visitors will turn to holiday experiences from the past.
New figures from VisitScotland suggest almost two-thirds of people are keen to revisit places in Scotland that they haven’t been to for years with some doing so in a different way.
People may be revisiting a holiday destination from childhood but swapping the family game of rounders on the beach to a kayaking experience.
Launching June 30 the Now is Your Time campaign will cover five themes starting with days out before moving to short stays, city breaks, family gatherings and escape and connect experiences to benefit physical and mental wellbeing.
Using a combination of paid media and digital activity including online videos and social media, the initiative will inspire visitors and educate them on how to enjoy the country responsibly and respectfully.
With tourism worth more than £11.5 billion to the Scottish economy, supporting 1 in 12 jobs, the sector has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdown and travel restrictions.
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland’s Director of Marketing and Digital, said: “Through our new campaign we want to inspire new and repeat visitors to experience some of the things they have missed most this past year – days out, family get-togethers and holidays.
“Our website is full of advice and suggestions of things to see and do right across the country, from our stunning countryside to our exciting cities.
“With so many people staying in the UK this year there has never been a better time to appreciate all the wonderful locations and attractions we have on our doorstep.
“Whether it’s discovering somewhere new or experiencing an old favourite in a completely new way, now is your time to enjoy the unique experiences that a holiday in Scotland offers.
“Tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it.
“Tourism makes Scotland richer, economically and socially, and without it Scotland would be a much poorer place.”
Speaking about the potential trend towards nostalgic experiences, Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Insight Manager, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we travel, for some people this might be their first holiday at home for several years.
“We know that in times of uncertainty that people naturally gravitate towards the familiar.
“Reminiscing with fondness to past times or a reflective desire to re-live the past can be a magnet to travellers to previously visited destinations.
“In 2014 we identified the trend Mod-stalgia – embracing the past through the comforts of today – and this is something we expect to come into the fore during the 2021 season.
“We all have a part to play in helping tourism recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and revisiting places that we have enjoyed in the past is a great way to rediscover and support Scotland’s world-famous tourism offering.
“The Scottish tourism and events industry need the support of people living in Scotland – we’re asking everyone to take their first post-lockdown holiday in their own country.”