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Highlands set for winter marketing holiday campaign

By Alan Shields

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The Highlands will be targetted for a winter holiday destination.
The Highlands will be targetted for a winter holiday destination.

A marketing campaign has been launched to promote the Highlands as a winter destination.

It is hoped to inspire visitors to responsibly explore the region off-season for a short break or longer holiday.

The Winter Wonder Highlands marketing campaign unites Highland Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) in a collaboration for the second year running, in a bid to extend the tourism year and generate economic benefit.

The campaign is being led by the Highland Tourism Partnership (HTP), working with VisitScotland.

As a partnership of Destination Marketing Organisations in the region, the HTP collectively represents more than 1000 businesses in Highland from across all sectors – hotels, B&Bs, attractions, tours and food and drink.

The campaign, which will run until November 31, sees DMOs in Lochaber, VisitCairngorms, Visit Inverness Loch Ness, SkyeConnect, Venture North, Moray Speyside Tourism and Visit Nairn all contributing financially to the campaign.

The destinations have contributed a total of £18K in funding "to help amplify the content created by the individual destinations" through a dedicated You Tube video.

The campaign will also include video footage, social media promotion and digital adverts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube.

Targeting primarily the Scottish and northern English audience, the campaign will promote key themes associated with taking a magical winter break in the Highlands, including:

  • Responsible enjoyment of the natural environment in autumn and winter
  • Outdoor and adventure activities, including walking and cycling
  • Wellness experiences and slow adventures
  • Hidden gems, food & drink and cosy places to stay and eat
  • Nature, geodiversity and wildlife
  • Dark skies and the Northern Lights
  • Unique history and cultural heritage - including art and craft, music and Gaelic
  • Events and low-cost local experiences

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “It is fantastic news that the destination management organisations have come together and are working with VisitScotland to promote the Highlands as an amazing winter destination.

“The campaign aims to highlight the diverse range of experiences visitors can have in the Highlands in winter – from dark skies and the Northern Lights, to beach walks, wildlife watching and a dram by a cosy fireside.

“We want to encourage visitors to slow down and savour some of our great locations in winter - when the region is traditionally quieter - and provide them with a unique and rewarding experience.

“The benefit of tourism spreads far beyond the industry itself – creating jobs in our communities and contributing positively to wellbeing.”

Frazer Coupland, Chairman of the Highland Tourism Partnership and also CEO of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s a collective ambition and objective to extend the visitor season and this is being made possible by showcasing the Highlands as an attractive winter destination to enjoy with family, for varied experiences, all of which can be enjoyed in a sustainable way.

“Through promoting the Highlands as a visitor destination we can support our businesses, provide opportunity to boost bookings and offer an enjoyable visitor experience. The Scottish Highlands is an exceptional place, one to be enjoyed in all seasons and we strongly believe that the VisitScotland collaboration will help the Highlands to stand out as available for those travelling this winter.”

For more information about the campaign, visit: www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/highlands/winter/

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