The head of Scotland’s tourism industry has issued a rallying call for it to capitalise on the “once-in-a-lifetime” series of events being held in 2013 and 2014.
Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland’s chairman, said the country had the chance to emulate the success of the London Olympics if it threw its weight behind the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the next Home- coming and the Battle of Bannockburn 700th anniversary celebrations.
Mr Cantlay, who hosted a reception at the Scottish Parliament to kickstart VisitScotland’s campaign, declared that tourism was now Scotland’s biggest industry and could provide the “tonic” to the economic downturn over the two years.
He said the Year of Natural Scotland, a Scottish Government-instigated campaign for 2013, would pave the way for the events the following year by encouraging more Scots to discover their own country and become national “ambassadors”, in a similar way to how Londoners embraced the Olympics.
“This is our time and opportunity to put Scotland firmly on the tourism map as the eyes of the world focus on our nation,” he said.
The government agency EventScotland is hosting a major conference in Glasgow next month to help ensure Scotland capitalises on the string of events.
Bill Morris, director of the opening and closing ceremonies at the London Olympics, as well as the torch relays, will be among the guest speakers, along with David Zolkwer, who will be in charge of the equivalent events in Glasgow in two years’ time, Donald Getz, a leading tourism academic from the University of Queensland, and Mr Cantlay himself.
The tourism chief said: “We simply have never had a year like this before, when two of the biggest sporting events in the world will be held in Scotland. But we are really seeing them as only the start.
“We want to use the Year of Natural Scotland as a campaign to get Scots to properly discover their own country for the first time, and ensure that every Scot plays as big a part and enjoys the events in 2014 as much – if not more – than Londoners did this summer.
“We want both the Year of Natural Scotland next year, and the Year of Homecoming, to reach every corner of Scotland, and we want businesses and the public to get ready for them.
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “There are some wonderful opportunities for Scottish tourism in the coming years, and we are working with VisitScotland to make sure that we maximise the impact of these.”
He said next year, the Year of Natural Scotland, will celebrate Scotland’s marvellous assets.
“2014 sees Scotland ‘Welcome the World’ with our big invitation to visit in a year when we celebrate not only our second Year of Homecoming but also host two of the world’s largest events – the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.
“The talent and dedication shown by people who work in the industry is central to the success of these events, which can make a substantial contribution to delivering sustainable economic growth for Scotland.”
NCC Events will launch a brand new industry supported motorhome show at the NEC this February at the NEC, Birmingham. The Spring Caravan & Camping Show (Feb 19-24), will welcome newcomers to motorhoming, caravanning and camping, as well as existing enthusiasts looking to buy or browse all the latest 2013 models, leisure accessories, camping gear and to research new holiday destinations, attractions and service providers. As well as new season motorhomes, caravans and tents, the show will also feature holiday homes and lodges to coincide with the start of the holiday park season.
The Show will occupy 60,000 sq m of the NEC.
Supported by the industry’s main manufacturers, brands and dealers, including Bailey, Elddis, Swift, Trigano, Auto-Trail, Chausson, Autosleepers, Fifth Wheel, Carthago, Globecar, Frankia & Bavaria, Hobby, Rapido, Pilote, Vantage, Lowdhams, Brownhills, to name but a few. A full exhibitor list is available on the show website.
Both The Camping and Caravanning Club and The Caravan Club will be attending the Show and entertaining visitors with new initiative launches, motorhome manoeuvring tuition and celebrity guests. Helping to attract newcomers and families over the half term break will be four interactive feature areas, including a ‘drop zone’ climbing wall, campfire cookery, the UK’s largest indoor kayaking pool, ‘one to one with wildlife’ and ‘rod and reel’ angling pool. Each feature will benefit from a visit from a special celebrity guest throughout the show week
Advance tickets are now on sale and start at £7.00 for seniors (60 + years) and £8.00 for adults. Children under 16 years are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. To book tickets visit the show websiteCLICK HERE
The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu is proud to announce that BOND IN MOTION, the exclusive official exhibition of 50 original James Bond vehicles, will be continuing throughout 2013.
The exhibition, is the largest of its kind staged anywhere in the world and features 50 original vehicles from the James Bond films, including some of the best loved and most iconic.
The exhibition, staged to celebrate 50 years of this enduring film franchise is brought right up to date with four vehicles from the 23rd and latest Bond film SKYFALL which premiered last month; the Land Rover Defender 110 and two Honda CRF250R motorcycles that feature in the opening sequence as well as the vehicle most recently added to the exhibition, the Aston Martin DB5.
Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said: “Since its opening, BOND IN MOTION has been an outstanding success, attracting over 400,000 visitors from all over the world. This critically acclaimed exhibition has been a fantastic addition to the National Motor Museum and we are delighted to have the opportunity to extend its run and welcome even more Bond fans throughout 2013.”
BOND IN MOTION features a whole range of vehicles which have appeared in Bond films over the years including cars, boats, motorbikes, jets and many more. This collection of iconic movie vehicles includes the Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from GOLDFINGER, the Lotus Esprit S1 affectionately nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, the Bede Acrostar jet famously flown in OCTOPUSSY, the original SFX Cello Case Ski famously navigated by Timothy Dalton in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS the original villain Parahawk featured in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and the Aston Martin DBS from CASINO ROYALE
BOND IN MOTION will run to 5th January 2014 and can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction. Advance tickets, at a special rate, are available to buy online at http://www.beaulieushop.co.uk. For further information on the exhibition click HERE
Any interest in a gathering at Beaulieu – which has a dedicated motorhome car park – maybe in the New Year to brighten up a dull January??!!