WITH the Easter holidays heralding the start of the Scottish tourism season a new campaign is aiming to help people enjoy Scotland responsibly.
Run by national tourism body VisitScotland, Keep Scotland Unspoiled will use social media, local radio and digital marketing to educate, inspire and inform people about issues such as water safety, camping, littering and the need to adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
As part of its efforts this year to reach younger audiences, the tourism organisation is also working with some of Scotland’s top travel influencers who will be creating content for their channels.
It comes as new research from VisitScotland reveals almost a fifth of residents in Scotland believe a benefit of tourism is that it showcases the beauty of Scotland. The same research also found over 80 per cent of respondents thought that tourism improves the local economy and helps generate economic growth in the area.
However, in recent years there has been a growing concern around an apparent increase in irresponsible behaviour at some locations across the north and north-east including littering, environmental damage, fire hazards, wildlife disturbance and unsafe waste disposal.
As more people holidayed at home, many were unaware of the impact of their visits on surrounding landscapes, wildlife and communities.
In order to address the issue, VisitScotland and a number of partners came together to develop a Scotland-wide strategic and co-ordinated approach to visitor management which included a series of dedicated campaigns to inspire and educate ‘novice’ outdoor adventurers and visitors in how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
It is estimated that at least 83 per cent of adults in Scotland saw activity by either the national tourism organisation or its partners which offered reminders on how to enjoy the countryside and leave no trace of their visit.
Advice will also be available for those in the tourism industry through a toolkit with images, films and other digital assets, hosted on the organisation’s corporate website.
Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing and Digital, said: “With the recent warmer weather it has been great to hear of people getting outdoors and experiencing all that the region has to offer.
“This is vital if the industry is to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
“However, our ambition is to make sure that when people are enjoying Scotland they are doing it in a way that not just keeps them safe, but also others and the surrounding environment. We all have a duty of care to protect the natural, social and cultural assets which make Scotland so special.
“Being a responsible tourist and respecting and protecting our environment and communities makes for a better experience for everyone.”
For more information visit www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/responsible-tourism/people-culture/responsible-visitor-guide