Today is St Andrew’s Day, the feast day of Andrew the Apostle. St Andrew officially became the patron saint of Scotland when the country’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath. The day was officially declared a bank holiday in Scotland by the Scottish government in 2006. It is celebrated with a public holiday on 30th November every year.
In March this year VisitScotland launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of exploring Scotland’s countryside with respect to protect and enjoy it and to keep Scotland special. The campaign used the ecotourism slogan, take only photographs leave only footprints – ‘Enjoy it Responsibly,’
#RespectProtectEnjoy and keep Scotland special
Initially the campaign was focused on visitor behaviour, not surprising given the overtourism issues which affected many of Scotland’s rural communities and natural areas with the associated problems of litter, wild camping and wild toileting. VisitScotland encouraged holidaymakers to visit lesser known places, to stay longer, minimise car travel, respect the countryside, support local communities and consider a conservation or volunteering holiday and contribute positively to Scotland.
Visit Scotland’s corporate website provides campaign material for business to use to encourage a visitor to make a Responsible Tourism Promise, promising to care for Scotland’s nature and communities and “to care for Scotland and the world’s tomorrow.” There is detailed guidance for visitors on responsible motorhome and caravan and camping trips.
More recently the campaign has moved on with the development of responsible itineraries and VisitScotland has partnered with the National Geographic Creativeworks Campaign to inspire American visitors to holiday in the Highlands and the Scottish Borders.
VisitScotland’s ScotSpirit Holiday Voucher Scheme funded by the Scottish Government as part of its tourism recovery programme the scheme is open to bed and breakfasts, guest houses, hotels, hostels, camping/holiday parks, self-catering accommodation and visitor attractions across Scotland. The allocation of vouchers to low income families, unpaid carers and disadvantaged young people will be done through the Family Holiday Association and Shared Care Scotland.
There are some great ‘new’ responsible experiences to be enjoyed in Scotland
The Awakening, a 9,000 square metre installation of a giant hand sited on the Coire Lairige at the Spittal of Glenshee, inspired by the Glen’s many Finn mac Cumhaill stories, and commissioned by the Cateran Ecomuseum, one of only two “museums without walls” in Scotland.
The Angus Tour, the tagline ‘Adventure Designed by You’, takes in wild sandy beaches, historic castles, and the idyllic Angus Glens as well as a plethora of local delicacies and green experiences across all of the seven Angus towns and beyond.
Find Your True North in Shetland this winter. Step away from the frantic rhythms of everyday life, slow down, take a breath and discover your authentic self in Shetland this winter. A place where the air is so fresh you can truly exhale, and the coastline so wild you can truly feel free.
Take the Slow Road through the Tweed Valley, a self-guided walking holiday through the Tweed Valley walking form hotel to hotel.